tcalie
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Agave opened up and fell flat

One of my Agave (I think they are Agave) just opened up and fell flat. Any idea why this is happening? Attached are some photos of the dying Agave as well as another one that is still healthy near it. I checked the drip and the water to the dying plant is working. Its getting the same water as the other healthy ones in the yard. I have about 7 of these in the yard and this is the only one having the issue.

Thanks for any ideas.
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

Is is getting too much water? About the only way I know to kill them is to over water them. Or there could be something damaging the root underground.

Asica
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

The agave maybe receiving too much water and rotting. See if you see any leaves rot, they usually look black. How often do you water?
Also look for any ants on it, they are usually sign of trouble.
If you discover rot, you can simply cut of the sick part,let the plant heal for a week and plant it back.

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applestar
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

Maybe it's in a lower spot than the others....
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tcalie
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

Thanks for all the replies. I'm not sure it getting too much water, as its got the same amount of drippers (and flow sizes) as all the other Agave. It is, however, the lowest of all the Agaves.

The water schedule is set to 3x per week. I am in Las Vegas and its been VERY hot here the last 3 months.

I believe they need to be watered less than that but the issue is that the landscapers the builder used (I had no control) put all kinds of plants on the same line. I’ve got trees on the same line as the Agaves. The trees have higher flow and more drippers. So there needs to be an attempted happy medium between the various plant type watering needs.

@ButterflyLady29 - Is there any way to tell if something is damaging the root underground?

@Asica – I don’t see any ants on it. But there are black leaves (as can be seen in one of the close-up pictures).

Finally, and most importantly, is there anything I can do to help this plant recover? I’ll trim the black rotted leaves. Should I also trim the leaves that have fallen flat? (see previous pictures)

Thanks,
Terry

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applestar
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

If the distressed agave is at the end of the drip line, maybe you could reduce the volume to that line just a little bit? ...or couldn't you just pinch it off or something before it gets to that agave?

Also, is there any chance that the roadway I see next to it has been graded to drain to where the agave is -- maybe when there is enough water to overflow the concrete verge -- its a low curb -- your agave gets more water that way too? Maybe water sits there underneath the gravel....?

Because of the road, I doubt that you could do much in the way of changing the slope/grade -- my original quick fix idea was to dig a gravel filled ditch/moat/swale on the downslope side of the agave so excess water would drain away from it.

Can the agave be raised so it's planted on a mound? ( kind of a big project especially with all the rock/gravel mulch there that would have to be moved aside first -- would your landscaper accept that this is necessary to correct the situation? )
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

Push the gravel to the side and dig it up. You'll see if the roots are good and solid or soft and mushy.

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Gary350
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

That looks a little bit like Weber Agave but not sure the saw teeth along the edges of the leaves look too large. There are 100s of different agave. Agave plants only live about 20 years then die. Some send up a stalk from the center of the plant with about 500 babies, some send out roots in all directions and babies pop up all around the mother plant, some agave go both. How old is your plant, has it had babies? In AZ even though soil is dry as dust 4" down soil is wet. Dig down to see how dry your soil is maybe the plant needs water. Nice thing about agave they are not water sensitive so give it 5 gallons of water. It is also very natural for agave to loose its lower leaves and grow new leaves out of the center. Cut off all the dead leaves give it water it will do good. Give it a drink of water every day until it starts to look better. Agave plants will grow 12" a year if you water them.

tcalie
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

Well, the plant finally fell over. Its completely rotted. The soil is extremely moist underneath. There were also a couple bugs in the base. Not an overwhelming amount, I saw 2 beetle looking guys and about 3 maggot looking guys. That's about it. Not like it was totally infested. I assume those few were just eating the rot as opposed to being the cause of the death of the plant. Or are these the types of bugs that can kill a plant (see pictures)?

@Gary350 - The plants have only been planted for a year. I'm not sure what size they were put in at (5 gallon or 15 gallon; likely 5 gallon) as the builder put them in just before I bought the house. All the Agave's are sprouting little baby pups around them.

I've been told you can harvest the babies, so I'm thinking about cutting one of the pups from another good plant and trying to get it to grow in this spot. Thoughts?

thanks again
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

You need to get the soil dried out before planting anything else in that spot. Check your other plants, they may be overly wet also.

How long does the water run for those 3 days? You may be overwatering everything. Check the soil around every plant. Even trees should not be setting in wet soil, unless they are bog or wetland trees. And I can't imagine trying to grow wetland plants in Las Vegas.

baileysup
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

I'm no expert, but it looks like those beetles could have been responsible for the damage. I've heard that's what they do. Come in from underneath, and destroy from inside out. I would research a bit, and see if you need to treat the ground with anything, for better results next time.

tcalie
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

Yep... I went to the local nursery and asked at the information desk. All I had to get out was my agave died. She said, did you see beetles? I said yep! She said its the Agave Beetle, also known as the Weevil. I'm searching around for how to kill/prevent them. It seems as though there is no good solution.

enigmaticcurses1977
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Re: Agave opened up and fell flat

I'm sorry for your loss. That was a nice agave!

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