For the first time since I started growing succulents there is a problem that worries me. Some of the the agaves have taken a turn for the worse. At first it was those I didn't realy care about: spares, or small plants that can be replaced. These are left in the worst place, unprotected before they are ready and so often struggle. I don't mind loosing them and so I didn't really think much about it, we all loose plants over winter.
At the same time, coming out of winter, I noticed some of the lower leaves on a couple of the larger agaves in the main dry bed. The main plants are the set of agave montanas
Winter damage on lower leaves is quite common, so it didn't worry me, what made me look more closely was the agave nigras.
These photos were taken today and it really brought home how bad the probem has got. It's no longer just the lower leaves, but half the plant and that has changed in only a few weeks.
Looking closely you can see round patches in the dead leave, on the less damaged leaves these show up as black spots. Looking closely there are clear raise patches.
I did a little searching online and it seems this is a fungal infection. That's about as far as I have got, so if anyone recognises it please leave a comment. I am going to have to figure out how to treat it as at the rate it's going it will go through my agaves before the end of spring.
My plan is to cut off as much of the infected growth as I can and then see if there is a fungicide in the UK that is stronge enough to treat the rest of the plant. Having never had a problem before I am not sure if this is the correct course of action or not. I am guessing if it is a fungus it will have already spread to the other agaves and everything is going to have to be treated. The mild wet winter, and wet spring have to a lot to answer for..
It is a shame that the dead leaves are going to have to be distroyed, they are quite pretty, and remind me of contour maps.
Fingers crossed it at least stays restricted to the agaves.
So if anyone has any advice please leave a comment, any information will be a great help. Especially if is news that this can be easily treated and is not something to worry about.