Tuesday 20 August 2013

Keep single or allow to clump

With all the offsets appearing on plants, come spring as they get repotted there is the choice of removing the pups or allowing them to grow as a clump.  Why do I prefer some to stay as single plants and think others would look good as a clump?

Is it a neatness thing?

This agave stricta 'nana' is constantly producing pups, 7 taken off this spring.  It's quite chaotic as it is, so all pups are removed in the hope of keeping at least some order.

This agave filifera variegata is just as messy looking, but I quite fancy these as a clump. No answer there.

Maybe it's a space thing.

Agave parasana tends to produce offsets directly off the base, these get ripped off as soon as they are big enough to survive.

Likewise, agave romanii is a serial offender on the overcrowding front.  It looks quite natural though and has been potted up to give space to form a clump.  No answer there either.

Maybe more space would help.

Agave arizonica isn't a massive offsetter, and they tend to be a little distance from the mother.

Agave macroacantha x applanata producing its first offset.  A little way from the mother, but not sure it is going to work.  The jury is out with this one, both for the pup and if space is the decider.

Maybe I should accept there is no logic to it and it is a simple case of treating each case on their own merits.  Whatever the outcomes, they are all safe with their mothers for now. This time of year is for exploring and enjoying the new arrivals.


  1. I find I almost always prefer agaves with a single head, thus I remove offsets promptly. I guess I just like the symmetry of a single growing point. The one exception, is Agave potatorum 'Shoji-Raijin' which produces a tremendous number of offsets and produces them very fast. For the most part this is only a matter of aesthetic taste for the grower. BTW you have a very nice collection of agaves!

    1. I remove a lot more than I leave, in fact Romanii is the only one I have ever left up until this year. Like you I tend to prefer the single head symmetry.