The Sunday Snatch featuring Yellow Striped Agave

The Sunday Snatch featuring Yellow Striped Agave


Ah, Sunday.  I love Sundays.  I like to keep the whole day free from plans so there’s plenty of time to drink coffee, go on a walk, read a magazine and laze around.  My lovely girlfriend, unfortunately, has piles of homework to do on Sundays, so I’m generally left to my own devices.  Thus, the Sunday snatch.  She does studious stuff and I come home with armfuls of “harvested” plants.


This week’s plant is an agave –  Agave americana var. marginatus to be specific.  I think sometimes they’re called “yellow ribbons” agave, but honestly there are so many types of this plant that it’s hard to tell what’s what when you’re down to the nitty gritty of varieties.  Basically you’re just looking for one that has green and yellow stripes with razor-like edges and sharp rust-colored barbs at the tips.  Don’t let all that stabbyness scare you off, though.  These guys are low water, make a huge aesthetic statement, and survive cold-snaps and intense heat equally well.  No pain no gain, right?


As you see in the photo above, I found a mothership host plant that had tons of babies ready to be whisked away.  Actually there were about 20 mothership plants in this same area, so if you’re jonesing to get some of these for your outdoor space just let me know and I’ll reveal the top secret location.




Adding these to your landscape is no biggie at all.  I recommend using a mini pick, seen above, to scratch the surface dirt away and then to rip at the roots.  Sometimes you’ll get a small section of root, like one inch, and sometimes you’ll get a ten inch length.  Either way is fine –  I’ve had both versions survive nicely.  Just like with the prickly pear from last week, you’ll want to give the freshly-yanked roots a day or two to scab over before planting them in a pot or the ground.   If anyone asks you what you’re up to, you can say you’re thinning the small ones out so the biggie has room to grow (and that won’t be a lie – they can get all clumpy/squeezed/claustrophobic if you let all of those babies continue to grow).  I came away with 16 small agaves from this one plant!





I think these pair really well with yellow barrel cactus, purple prickly pear, and something vertical like Mexican fencepost cactus.  In my own yard I’m hoping to establish a mass planting of these in and around a row of desert willow trees.  Someday I’ll have my very own version of Lotusland.  Have you been?  It looks dreamy.


Have a splendid day, everyone.  Happy planting!



Photo: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/43065740156907092/

1 Comment
  1. Hey, that’s a nice looking dog. Maybe he can be of service on the next Sunday Snatch!

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