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Century plants planting and growing


Century plants or agaves are popular plants for the window-garden or conservatory, requiring little care and growing slowly, thus needing repotting only at long intervals. When the plants have outgrown their usefulness as house-plants, they are still valuable as porch decorations, for plunging in rock-work, or about rustic nooks. The striped-leaved variety is the most desirable, but the normal type, with its blue-gray leaves, is highly ornamental.

There are a number of dwarf species of agave that are not so common, although they may be grown with ease. Such plants add novelty to a collection, and may be used through the summer as noted above or plunged with cactus in a bed of tropical plants. All succeed well in loam and sand in equal parts, with a little leafmold in the case of the small varieties.

The more common species are propagated by suckers from around the base of the established plants. A few kinds having no suckers must be grown from seed.

As to watering, they demand no special care. Agaves will not stand frost to any extent.

When the head throws up its great stem and blooms, it may exhaust itself and die; but this may be far short of a century. Some species bloom more than once.