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Too many Agave pups! What to do?

When I moved onto my mountain top I had only rocks and weeds. A neighbor offered me her large agave americana - about 50 of them. I planted them along the driveway and in my agave meadow (with pink muhly). Now, two years later I am realizing why my neighbor was fed up with them: they each produce per month at least 10 pups, which crawl underneath my weed cloth, then tear it up when they pop through it. And then they need to be removed. It is so much work every other month. I like the looks of big agaves and am glad that mine are healthy and happy but the work they cause is difficult to cope with. Is there a way of preventing agaves from producing all these pups? I have thought of putting a concrete barrier around each. Like being in a flowerpot. That’s a lot of work too and I don't know if it would be effective. Has anyone tried a barrier? Or does anyone have a better idea.

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Too many Agave pups! What to do?

It is kind of how they grow the more you cut them off the more will come out. I would take out some of the patches entirely since you probably don't need that much. I keep my agave in pots. It keeps them smaller so I don't have giants. I still have to thin the offsets especially of the aloe a couple of times a year just to keep it from spreading. Also don't water it once it is established it will live on rain.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Re: Too many Agave pups! What to do?

If these are those big ones, maybe you could try harvesting from them.

It looks like the main plant is completely scooped out in the middle to harvest the juice, so it would be finished, right? Then you'll have all those pups that would grow for later harvest?

Can agave be used any other way?'s one reference source :arrow: ... +americana

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Too many Agave pups! What to do?

If you have too many agave you need to castrate your pups.

I have moved away from Arizona but when I lived there my agave grew about 12" every 6 months. The mother plants had 1000s of babies. I sold babies on ebay 25, 50, 100 and 500 to a box. None of the babies have roots when harvested from the mother plant but they will in 3 weeks once I put them in the soil. Agave with no roots are hard to sell and 1" tall babies are hard to sell too. The mother plants grow a stalk and produce about 1000s babies they also send out roots and grow babies from the roots too. 1 plant will grow more babies than the average person knows what to do with. Desert plants are very hardy they can tolerate the hot desert sun, 115 degrees and almost no water but if you grow them in the shade, in good soil with water they grow faster than weeds. I sold almost $20,000. worth of agave babies one year on ebay every year. Not many people want to buy any type plant in the winter then spring you cant sell them fast enough then sales slow down in summer then speed up a little in the fall. Mothers day they make great gifts so get ready ahead of time for the biggest sale time of the year. Be careful not to leave baby plant in the soil too long if they get too large you cant get 50 in a $5 flat rate postage box. But don't worry you can get 50 larger plants in a large flat rate postage box for a higher sale price.

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