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2010 Eco-Blogging Garden Adventure in Mexico – Large Groupings Can Be Gorgeous

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Century Plant

Agave, or Century Plant, is a native of most of the tropical Americas. It’s name “century plant” refers to the long time the plant takes to flower. Dependent upon the individual variety of plant and the richness of the soil and the climate (during these years the plant is storing in its fleshy leaves the nourishment required for the effort of flowering), flowering occurs only once every twenty to thirty years.

Above you see some of the very unique displays in the Riviera Maya (the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico). I love the large grouping and think it is a fantastic idea to use in our own gardens back home. Although most of us in the U.S. cannot grow agave in our gardens, we can take a lesson from this technique of mass plantings and try it ourselves.

Although Agave’s require water, they are extremely hardy and drought tolerant, so represent a wonderfully sustainable solution should you live in a zone to support the tropical heat-loving plant. Agave’s get quite large – below you see me standing next to an agave which towered above everything around it. The plant is at the edge of a thick jungle, which you can see behind me. I had to be very careful standing next to it as the tips of the plant are needle sharp and were ready to shish-ka-bob a body part to protect itself.

Awesome plant!

Giant Agave and Shawna
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  1. Hi, Shawna — I love seeing agaves mass-planted. It's such a cool repetition of their spiky forms. This is Agave tequilana, the one tequila is made from. The plants are harvested right before they bloom because that's when the sugar content is highest. So here you're seeing a commercial crop as well as a great landscape idea.

  2. Thanks Debra! I think agave is gorgeous and wish I could grow it in Chicago. As a mass planting it truly works. I'd love to see the tequila making process! 🙂


  3. I love the flowers that bloom from the Agave. It looks so beautiful!
    I didn't know that the Agave tequilana was the one they used for making tequila. It sure would be interesting to see the process. If you have anything on it, pass the info. I'd love to see it. 🙂

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