Sunday, 18 September 2011

It's pupping season: agave kissho kan

It is that time of year again, looking around the pots at the end of the summer, checking for problems and looking for signs of new offsets.  While I know summer is almost over, finding new pups is one of the highlights of the year and helps to extend that summer feeling for as long as possible.  For some plants this is a regular occurance, for others it is a first and these are extra special.  Instead of tryign to cram them all into one post, I thought I would show them one by one, giving each plant an chance to star.

Today it is agave potatorum 'kissho kan'  a plant I have raved about before.  This year both the variegated and normal plant have produced offsets for the first time. The pups on the normal form are not that interesting to look at, but the mum is quite something.  I mentioned in the last post how quickly they grow and this summer has been no exception, despite the lack of any real warmth.  

Now the variegated form is a different matter.  The rate of growth is the same, but its first pup has decided to turn up totally white. As variegation is the absence of chlorophyl the more variegated the plant the slower the growth.  Plants without any green at all can not feed themselves and so have to stay connected to the mother and even then I have heard they hardly ever survive for long. Sometimes the pup will be yellow, which means it has a chance, but a totally white one is probably not going to last long. So seeing this is mixed feelings.

It's only chnace is if I leave it, but the longer it grows the slower the mum will be.  It will also spoil the symetrical look of the pot, which is one of the good things about these plants.  On the other hand if it survived for a little while, enough time to take on the form of the adult plant, an all white plant would be something to see.

Given it is coming up to winter, thankfully there is no rush to decide.  It may all work itself out by spring and so until then I will just enjoy the plant maybe giving it the name agave potatorum 'kissho kan ghost'.


  1. Why not repot itto a slightly larger pot? To give the pup room to not compromise the mother plant too much?

  2. DG: If it is still alive come spring I will try to do that. The problem is going to be can I move the pup far enough away without snapping it's connection. I am hoping that the pup snaked around a bit under the soil before coming to the surface so there will be some scope to move it further away. I have tried growing pups in separate pots but still connected to mum. This was were the pup had snaked around the whole pot before coming to surface. It allowed me to totally root the plant and thensnip the connectiong without having to disturb everything.