Friday 3 May 2019

Exciting mangave update

So last year was a good mangave and manfreda year, with flowers on two manfredas, more on that in another post, and the mangave flowering.  So a quick recap: the mangave was produce by a friend and is hybrid between manfreda virginica and agave obscura

The pollen was provided by friends over at Crete Lodge exotic garden. They seem to have agaves in flower every year now, this time there were two agaves flowering at the same time. An agave mitis and one labelled as agave horrida, although they suspect it is not.

Photo courtesy of Melissa at Crete Lodge
Isn't that wall amazing, such a shame that the agave left such a big gap.

So the last time I posted progress on the flower spike there were seed pods. It seemed to take forever but finally these opened and amazingly there were seeds. These where sown and placed in a heated prop.  To be honest I was not that confident anything would germinate.

I was wrong, one month later and there were around 40 seedlings.

The problem was that in my eagerness, winter was the wrong time to sow them. They needed to be kept alive until spring and I'm terrible with seedlings: too much water, too little water. So I'm really surprised that 4 months later 19 are still alive. I'll take 50% surviving any day.

I know not very interesting to look at yet. It is only in the last few weeks they have really started to grow, most are now sending out their 2nd proper leaf. How good would it be to have a few new mangaves of my own making. I really hope that some of the horrida (or not) parentage comes through. I do like my toothie plants.

The funny thing is, with the two different pollen donars I would guess I am now the largest mangave producer in the UK. 


  1. Really exciting!! Not to be a killjoy, but how confident are you that the bees didn't self-pollinate it? A while back when I tried to cross-pollinate my Aloe I spent months trying to figure out whether the seedlings were noticeably different from the mother.

    I currently have a few pods developing on my Manfreda maculata. I didn't pollinate the flowers though. There is a second spike about to bloom and right now on my coffee table I have some pollen that I recently collected from an unknown Agave. This will be my first attempt to create a Mangave. They are so neat that I just had to try!

    1. I never saw any bees anywhere near it actually. The bees tend to take a while to discover new types of flower. I guess time will tell.

      Good luck with yours, it is really fun to try and who knows what you'll end up with.

  2. Maybe the Agave was A. horrida ssp. perotensis? It is less toothy than "regular" horrida. Congratulations and good luck with the seedlings!

    I still have the surviving three of my manfreda/agave 'Blue Glow' hybrids of quite a few years ago (6?/7?). Two are like rubbery 'Blue Glow's and the other is similar to Agave pumila, of all things.

    1. Thank you. Looking forward to seeing what they turn into. They seem to be just getting on with it now, which takes a bit of pressure of.