Wednesday vignette

A couple of loose ideas came together this morning in a slowburn, sleepy kind of way. I’ve been envious of large stands of Agave attenuata around town, wishing I could grab a crown for dramatic inclusion in a large vase, but that would be stealing. Even though the plantings are congested and no one would miss one of dozens of rosettes from a neglected parkway. That is still, by definition, taking without permission. The second idea was the long-delayed matter of thinning a congested planting of Agave ‘Blue Flame’ of my own that was encroaching on a nearby aloe. I tackled that project this morning. I admit there were a few blank seconds where I failed to recognize the real-time intersection of these two ideas as I sawed away at the agave, which is after all an attenuata hybrid. I stared at the rather nice-looking rosette severed from the main plant for a few seconds and thought what a shame it was to waste — oh, wait a minute. Right! Now, which pot would be heavy enough to support it?


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There was a tiny bit of root attached to the stem, so I filled the pot with water. My agave-as-sweet-potato experiment.
The rim supports the rosette and keeps the stem from being squashed against the bottom of the pot.
But a big glass vase, maybe even a Sparkletts bottle, where the stem and roots (if any) can be viewed would be interesting too.
More random brainstorms and Wednesday vignettes can be found at Flutter & Hum.

9 thoughts on “Wednesday vignette

  1. I would have never thought to put an agave pup into water. Seems shocking, so I’m glad you didn’t use a clear vessel. 🙂

  2. Denise, I’d suggest skipping the water, these Agaves will easily form roots just sitting in a pot with their trunk in the dark. Sitting in water, it might start to rot. I cut off rosettes and simply plunk them into the ground in new landscapes.

  3. I too was surprised by the agave in water, but what do I know… I put agaves in too much shade (because that is almost exclusively what I have), always hoping they will look like the ones you show. I always fail. I get my agave kicks through blogs like yours. 🙂

  4. Perfect pot for a lovely agave. I love A. attenuata, but it melts in our cold winters here – ‘Blue Flame’is hardier, I think. A bare-root agave can last forever if it’s kept dry and out of the sun. OK, maybe not forever, but weeks, at least. I saved one for a friend that was bare-root for months before he arrived to pick it up, and it did fine.

    Down the hill in Redlands there’s a front yard full of one type of cactus — a beautiful, monstrose variety — that makes me crazy every time I drive past it. Congested, check. No one would miss a section, check. But I can’t just walk off with a section, because that would be wrong, and I’m hesitant to knock on the door and ask for some, because that would be presumptuous. Wouldn’t it? (But it’s in the neighbor’s yard, too! The owner must give pieces away.) Wish there were an established protocol for situations like this… besides “stop coveting your neighbor’s plants” :~/

  5. @Alison, I can’t believe I was this close to tossing it out. In my defense, it was early and I hadn’t had enough coffee yet.
    @Alan, it doesn’t look shocking to me, probably because I’ve been cutting back lots of stuff, manihot and eucalypt ‘Moon Lagoon’ for vases, so it’s getting fairly leafy indoors!
    @David, I’ll dump the water then and might add gravel for weight instead.
    @Anna, and I get my non-succulent plant kicks through blogs like yours, so the favor is returned 😉
    @Loree, you did see that pot not long after I purchased it. This is its first occupant, so it’s kind of a tribute to your visit.
    @Luisa, I hear you on coveting neglected plantings! I dare you to leave a polite note and offer a trade maybe.

  6. Attenuata is so very common, but I never weary of a well-grown one–their lines are so graceful. ‘Blue Flame’–even better.

    The mid-century ash tray…bad and fabulous all at once.

  7. Hoov, I don’t know how it happened, but I have a lot of ashtrays for a household that has never smoked. The holidays must have been much simpler when we could give them as gifts!

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