The Blue Glow Agave belongs to the Asparagaceae family. It is an evergreen succulent and only recently introduced into the vast family of agaves.
It is a small hybrid cross between Agave ocahui and Agave attenuata that reaches 18 inches tall and around 24 inches in breadth. Its blue-green leaves are narrow and sharply pointed with red margins with a red spine and it grows slowly as a rosette. The leaves are approximately 18 inches long and about 1.5 inches wide. This cultivar is good to be grown in containers and rock gardens. Agaves grow best in warmer climates, but are adaptable and can also be cultivated in temperate zones in pots if protected during winter.
You must be careful handling this plant because the tips of the leaves are quite sharp and can cause injuries.
This plant blooms just once in its life and then dies afterward. The flowers are a beautiful green-yellow, approximately 2-2.5 inches long, and grow on a straight 10-foot long stem but the plant rarely flowers when grown indoors. This plant, when growing outdoors, usually reaches maturity between ten to fifteen years, after which it flowers and dies.
As with several agave species, this plant also grows “pups” or offshoots around the “mother” plant’s base. They can be removed to maintain the aesthetic appearance of the plant and to help prevent the plant from becoming overcrowded and planted in your garden or pots. Since the mother plant tends to die after flowering, these offshoots help perpetuate the original plant.
An important factor in growing this low-maintenance plant is to provide it enough growing space, particularly when growing it outdoors. If it doesn’t have plenty of room to grow, it can become hazardous near sidewalks and pathways when their spines can jab people walking by. Like all other succulents, this plant is easy to maintain and care for, as its needs are very modest and is an ideal plant for people just venturing out into the gardening world.
A location that receives direct sunlight is perfect for this plant, but it can tolerate growing under a bit of shade. In extremely hot and arid regions, it should be protected from the intense sun.
This plant should be watered only when the soil is approximately 90% dry. This means watering once weekly or once fortnightly – depending on temperature variations.
Watering must be reduced during winter to once a fortnight or once a month.
Remember that succulents are very vulnerable to water-logging as the roots can quickly rot from excess moisture.
This plant prefers growing in conditions of low humidity as high humidity can often lead to the crown rotting away.
It needs to grow in warm surroundings, with temperatures above 68°F. The optimal temperature range for this plant to thrive lies between 68-95°F.
The minimum temperature this plant can tolerate is 20°F – temperatures below this will lead to leaf and root rot.
This plant can tolerate any kind of soil but prefers a mix of soil along with perlite/pebbles and some sand. Although it is drought-resistant, the soil must possess good drainage capabilities as water stagnation will rapidly rot it. A soil mix suitable for cacti and succulents will do or you can create your mix with one part of regular soil and another of coarse sand. Another suitable mix consists of 2 parts of regular soil, 1 part of gravel, and 1 part of vermiculite or perlite.
Repot the plant into another bigger pot when it becomes root bound using a suitable soil mix as recommended above. This must be done carefully to avoid getting injured by the sharply pointed leaves.
This plant is mainly propagated from offshoots that pop up around the plant’s base and can be done at any time. Separate the offshoot along with the roots from the original plant and transplant it into a suitable soil mix.
This plant doesn’t need feeding, but you can feed it every 15 days in summer with a special fertilizer designed for cacti/succulents to give it more nutrients to grow healthy and strong, do not over-fertilize it as it suffers from fertilizer burn and stops feeding it in winter.
A healthier organic option is to add earthworm compost or vermicompost once a month. This contains plenty of micronutrients and minerals, allowing the plant to absorb the right amount of nutrients it needs, helps to improve soil aeration, and contains enzymes that can repel pests.
Lower leaves of this plant die naturally and become dry as new growth emerges. This is a normal process and the dry leaves can be removed carefully by pulling or cutting them off.
This plant can be attacked on occasion by mealybugs hiding underneath the leaves. The symptoms usually presented are tender and juicy parts of the plant being damaged and the appearance of their distinctive slime. If not treated and eliminated, they will completely ruin the plant. These pests usually appear in conditions of high humidity, damp leaves, or over-watering. If the infestation is slight, they can easily be removed manually with your fingers, but if the infestation is severe, insecticides can be used to eliminate them.
Aphids also can attack the plant; these pests can also infect the plant with viruses and require immediate elimination with appropriate insecticides. These pests prey on plants with rosette-shaped leaves as there are plenty of places for them to hide and breed. Aphid infestation symptoms include rolled-up leaves, twisted growth, leaves stopping growing, and black necrotic spots. They can be easily eliminated using suitable commercial insecticides.
Another problem that affects this plant is over-watering or under-watering. Of the two, over-watering presents more of a problem as it can also lead to root rot. The symptoms are typically presented by yellow and flabby leaves.