Mountain Agave - 10 seeds

Mountain Agave - 10 seeds


Agave montana, the Mountain Agave, is a particularly handsome Agave that stay solitary (doesn't offset). It forms a very symmetrical artichoke-like rosette of dark green leaves usually covered with a pale frosting of whitish bloom and carrying on their lower surfaces the distinct impressions of the thorny leaf margins of the previous outer leaf-bud. These thorns and the strong terminal thorn are a contrasting reddish brown. Like many in its family plant dies after blooming but does not sucker or form offsets so when it gets killed its gone, however the seeds do germinate very easily. As with most agaves, individual clones vary considerably.

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1.        Mix equal amounts of garden soil, sand and broken brick perlite. Sterilize prepared substrate by putting it in a microwave for 3 minutes or in your oven for 45 minutes approximately.

2.        Previously prepared containers for planting are to be filled with substrate, but while doing it, be careful and leave some space at the top, at least 0.5 inches (2cm). Add plenty of water and leave the container, so that the water has some time to decant.

3.        Plant Agave seeds, but leave at least 0.4 inches (1cm) of space between each seed. Then cover the seeds again with a thin layer of substrate, and to finish it off, cover it with a thin layer of fine gravel, with grains no bigger than 0.12 inches (3mm). Water it again.

4.        Moisture is the most important part for seed germination. It’s best to cover the container with a piece of nylon or a plastic bag in order to keep it moisturized. The container with seeds should be put somewhere warm, but not exposed to direct sunlight. The temperature needed for Agave to germinate is 77°F (25°C) and above.

5.        The germination can start as soon as 4 days after planting, but it’s more frequent for it to start after 10-12 days. Remove the glass that kept the container moisturized 2 weeks after planting.

6.        You need to spray the substrate every day, it cannot be let to completely dry off. It is also important to provide the plant with sufficient sunlight during the day, but avoid direct sunlight for a couple of months. It’s of great importance for Agaves not to change its light regime during this sensitive period. Try to provide it with a similar amount of light every day.

7.        Agave’s seedlings have a tendency to fall over, which can be fatal for them. You can prevent that by adding some pebbles around the plants. Agaves bred from the seed start off as one leaf. The empty shell of the seed can stay at the top of the plant for a long time. You can take it of gently by yourself, but it’s not necessary. The plant starts to form a new leaf four weeks after germination, so they start looking like mature Agaves. However, only after forming the third leaf will Agaves look more like their parents.

Agave montana is a stupendously beautiful plant native to northeastern Mexico at altitudes up to 3000 metres so it is quite cold hardy. Plant in full sun to light shade. Regular irrigation required. Hardy in much of the British Isles and better able to cope with the wet than most Agaves. Growth rate: This is a slow to moderate growing medium sized agave, but can grow pretty fast compared to most agave because it does not need as much sun as most agave and it keeps growing in temperatures where other agaves stop growing altogether. Soil: In habitat this species grows in soil rich in organic matter and covered with a thick layer of pine needles. Good drainage in a gravel-mix substrate suits well. In areas with alkaline, desert soil low in organic matter, it is wise to amend the soil almost as if you are planting a vegetable garden. The plants will also benefit from a cover of seasonal perennials and low-growing, summer-active grasses to help keep the soil cool. Light requirements: It is a high altitude plant and is found as an understory plant (full sun is not it's natural setting). Water requirements: This agave will keep growing in cool conditions even when it doesn't get full direct sun, matter in fact it does need rain in spring and regular watering in summer compared to other agave. Coming from very high altitudes, this is one prefers some supplemental water in the summer. Hardiness: It has survived down to -12° C, and could perhaps take lower temperatures. (Zone 7). Although Agave montana is more capable of tolerating winter wet than most Agaves, nontheless, long extended periods of sub-zero temperatures or freezing fog are more challenging than anything it experiences in Mexico that will mean additional protection with fleece. The problem arise is when after a cold snap if the temperature stay really low and it freezes for several days in a row A. montana will have some trouble surviving. Exposure. Plants seem to prefer some shade in the hot part of summer, but should do fine in full sun in the cooler zones. Heat tolerance: They doesn't suffer from hot and wet summer (40° C )