Agave Parryi (Artichoke Agave): How To Grow Them Fast And Healthy

One look at this type of succulent and you will understand why it is often called Artichoke Agave. It is an absolutely stunning little plant that is ideally designed for sunny gardens or decorative pots. Not only are they lovely to look at, but they are also lovely to care for; these little plants are not fussy.

How to Identify Agave Parryi

This plant can be identified by its rosette shape of spiky green leaves. It can also be identified by its enormous flowering stalk. Only mature plants are capable of producing this. This flower stalk can grow up to 15 feet tall and will bloom with yellow and orange blossoms. Unfortunately, this means that the life of the plant is over and it will die soon after blooming.

This is not an entirely bleak moment, though. This is because Agave Parryi propagates through offsets that will grow all around the mother plant. Any spot where one of these has died off will soon be filled with little offshoots.

Where Does Agave Parryi Grow

Agave Parryi is an evergreen perennial native to northern Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Texas. It will grow its best in well-drained, loamy soil that is wrapped in dry, sunny weather. When set in these ideal conditions, these succulents can thrive for 10 to 15 years. In that space of time, they can grow up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

Uses of Agave Parryi

Agave Parryi plants have a long history of uses in creating medicine and food. The caveat is that you should always do plenty of research and talk to experts before attempting to create a meal or medicine out of the plant. This is because it can be toxic to humans and animals and the utmost caution must be taken.

All this being said, historically, this plant has been used to make aguamiel, pulque, and mescal. Some agaves were even roasted or baked by Native Americans living in the Southwest. These agaves could either be eaten as they were or pounded into cakes and dried.

How to Grow Agave Parryi From Seed

Agave seeds should be planted in prepared soil that contains sand, gravel, or small stones to help drain water. The seeds should be planted at least one centimeter away from other Agave seeds. Give the seeds plenty of moisture to encourage them to sprout and grow. They will also need warm, indirect sunlight.

The seeds of an Agave plant should germinate within 10 days, and probably, much sooner. If you don’t see any activity in the seeds that you have planted within 10 days, the seeds are not going to grow and you will need to try again with another batch.

Agave Parryi Growing Conditions

All plants have their special needs and Agave Parryi is no different. While these adorable plants are not fussy, they do require certain things to look and live their best. Here are the basic steps to meet their needs.

When to Plant Agave Parryi

The best time to plant Agave Parryi seeds is in spring. This is the time of year when there will be plenty of warmth and sunshine that will encourage the little seedlings to germinate.

How to Plant Agave Parryi

The best type of soil for these plants is well-drained and loamy but they can also thrive in sandy or rocky soil. As long as the soil is well-drained and has a pH level between 7 and 8, these plants will be content.

Be sure they are planted with at least a centimeter of space between each seed. Once they are sown, give them moisture and plenty of bright but indirect sunlight.

Agave Parryi Water Requirements

When kept in pots, Agave Parryi will need more frequent watering times than when kept in a garden plot. It will be necessary to let the water drain and the soil around the plant dry before watering. It is recommended that during the spring, summer, and fall seasons, they are watered when the soil is dry, but during the winter season, they should only be watered once a month.

Agave Parryi Sun Requirements

Provide these plants with full-on sunlight. They don’t need shade, and consequently, they look and feel their best outside. If they must be kept indoors, they should be put in a very sunny place without reflective light.

While these plants thrive in warmer climates, they are so hardy that they are content to spend the winter in temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it will still need the warm, sunny weather in the summertime to grow well.

Best Agave Parryi Fertilizer

Give these plants a small amount of fertilizer during the spring season. This should only be necessary during the first two years after they are planted.

Joyful Dirt Organic Succulent Fertilizer & Plant Food

This is one of the best types of fertilizer for these succulents. It is specifically designed for use on succulents, it is safe for kids and pets to be around, and it is easy to use. Try it on your Agave plant to see how well it works.

Pros:

  • Propagate by offsets
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Tolerates cold temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tolerates full sun
  • Lives up to 15 years
  • Attracts hummingbirds
  • Deer resistant
  • Nearly disease-free

Cons:

  • It is toxic
  • It does not grow as well when kept indoors
  • It only blooms just before it dies
  • It can get root rot if the soil around it doesn’t drain well
  • It contains sharp needles on its leaf tips

Best Agave Parryi Companion Plantings

Sometimes it is nice to pair a succulent with other similar plants, or perhaps, trade them out altogether. The purpose behind this could be to create a succulent garden, a landscape feature, or just to try out different types of succulents. When doing this, keep things easy for yourself and find other succulents that require the same type of care. So, if you are thinking about getting a partner for your Agave Parryi, try one of the following:

Agave Blue Flame

This is a perennial hybrid succulent that is both exquisitely beautiful and exquisitely complementary to Agave Parryi. Let’s look at its qualification for such descriptions so you can decide if this is the best partner for your Agave Parryi plant.

Similarities:

  • Both succulents are drought tolerant
  • Both succulents tolerate full sun
  • Both succulents need well-drained soil
  • Both succulents can live in sandy soil
  • Both succulents can live in a garden plot or a container
  • Both succulents are nearly free of disease
  • Both succulents can grow up to three feet tall

Differences:

  • Blue Flame does not tolerate cold weather; Agave Parryi does
  • Blue Flame does not have sharp tips; Agave Parryi does
  • Blue Flame needs partial shade when facing the hot desert sun; Agave Parryi does not

Summary:

Agave Blue Flame is a great option when looking for a succulent to pair with an Agave Parryi. They will both grow bigger and fuller than many other similar succulents so they can create a lovely-looking landscape together.

Agave Blue Glow

This is a slow-growing perennial succulent with very similar needs to Agave Parryi. Let’s do a compare and contrast so you will quickly know if this is the paring you want.

Similarities:

  • Both succulents are drought tolerant
  • Both succulents tolerate full sun
  • Both succulents need well-drained soil
  • Both succulents can live in sandy soil
  • Both succulents can live in a garden plot or a container
  • Both succulents are nearly free of disease
  • Both succulents take over ten years to produce flowers

Differences:

  • Blue Glow does not tolerate cold weather; Agave Parryi does
  • Blue Glow does not self-propagate; Agave Parryi does
  • Blue Glow does not have sharp tips; Agave Parryi does

Summary:

Agave Blue Glow is an excellent choice to pair with other Agave succulents such as Agave Parryi. It has many similar qualities, and the few differences between the two types of succulents are not disagreeable.

Agave Cream Spike

This may be a tiny succulent but it packs a lot of punch into its spiky leaves. It is an excellent plant for outdoor garden spaces or small container window gardens. With its spike-tipped leaves, it is going to be completely at home next to an Agave Parryi.

Similarities:

  • Both succulents are drought tolerant
  • Both succulents tolerate full sun
  • Both succulents need well-drained soil
  • Both succulents can live in sandy soil
  • Both succulents are nearly free of disease
  • Both succulents can live in a garden plot or a container
  • Both succulents propagate by offsets

Differences:

  • Agave Cream Spike only grows up to 4 inches tall and 6 inches wide; Agave Parryi can reach 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide
  • Agave Cream Spike can grow in partial sun; Agave Parryi needs full sun
  • Agave Cream Spike does not tolerate cold weather; Agave Parryi does

Summary:

These little plants are so feisty looking but still adorable. They will make the perfect plant companion for an Agave Parryi whether kept in a container or a garden plot.

Agave Fox Tail

This is an evergreen succulent that grows perennially. It is a very unique looking Agave plant because it produces an enormous flower stalk that resembles a foxtail. The plant itself can grow up to 6 feet wide and 5 feet tall. This is no dainty little succulent for an indoor dish. Because of this, it is best to look at its comparative qualities to make sure it will suit your garden.

Similarities:

  • Both succulents are drought tolerant
  • Both succulents tolerate full sun
  • Both succulents need well-drained soil
  • Both succulents can live in sandy soil
  • Both succulents are nearly free of disease
  • Both succulents propagate by offsets
  • Both succulents die after they bloom

Differences:

  • Agave Fox Tail has leaves that are smooth and soft; Agave Parryi has sharp-tipped leaved
  • Agave Fox Tail can tolerate cold temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit; Agave Parryi can tolerate cold temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit

Summary:

These succulents are showy and brilliant. They will add a sense of drama to your garden space and bring a soft luxurious feel where Agave Parryi brings a sharp and tense feel. It will be the perfect dramatic pairing.

Agave Univittata ‘Quadricolor’

This is another evergreen succulent that has the potential to accompany an Agave Parryi in a garden space. It is a spectacle of color and texture. Its green and yellow striped leaves are trimmed with spikes and with the proper amount of sunlight, the leaves can turn red or pink.

Similarities:

  • Both succulents are drought tolerant
  • Both succulents tolerate full sun
  • Both succulents need well-drained soil
  • Both succulents can live in sandy soil
  • Both succulents are nearly free of disease
  • Both succulents propagate by offsets
  • Both succulents have spikes on their leaves

Differences:

  • Agave Univittata can grow up to 18 inches tall and 2 feet wide; Agave Parryi can grow up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide
  • Agave Univittata does not tolerate cold as well as Agave Parryi

Summary:

Agave Univittata is another excellent option to use as a companion or alternative succulent for Agave Parryi. This particular succulent will provide color and texture without a large bulk.

Agave Parryi Diseases and Common Problems

Agave plants are susceptible to fungus attacks. Fungus spores growing on an agave can produce lesions, spotting, and rot. To combat fungus spores, use an antifungal plant spray. These can either be purchased or homemade.

Agave Parryi Treatments and Maintenance

To find out if your agave has been infested look for damaged tissue in the place where the leaves meet the stem.  If you see that the lowest leaves are wilted, you may have an infestation.  Check for further proof by trying to rock the plant.  If it moves back-and-forth easily and doesn’t feel anchored by its roots, you definitely have a problem.

If your agave is infested, there are a few things you need to do in order to save it before it is too late.

Treat your agave early

The sooner you get to it, the better chance it has of surviving.  This is why you should regularly check for pest infestations.

Use an insecticide

Spray the agave that is infested with an insecticide that includes imidacloprid.  This should be done in early April and late May, but only if the plant is not about to bloom.

Take preventive measures

You can prevent an infestation of your agave plants by taking preventive measures.  These include:

  • Checking all new agave plants for infestation before planting them
  • Removing all unsavable agave plants from your garden area
  • Applying a systemic insecticide before an infestation has a chance to begin

Agave Parryi Repotting Instructions

Fortunately, most Agave plants are slow growers and shouldn’t need to be moved from their resting places very often. However, if you find that your Agave requires more space, follow these steps to make sure everything stays healthy.

  1. Find a container slightly larger than the current container holding the Agave plant
  2. Remove the Agave from its current container
  3. Plant the Agave at a shallow soil depth with new potting soil

It’s that simple. The most important thing to remember is to not plant the roots very deep because they are shallow.

Where to Buy Agave Parryi Seeds Online

Purchasing gardening items online has never been more popular. So, if you are interested in gathering seeds to start growing your own Agave Parryi from the ground up, then try one of these reputable online stores.

Where to Buy Agave Parryi Plants Online

It may seem impossible that these plants are sold all over the internet because they are typically so large. But they do have to start small. Buying succulents online is one of the most convenient and economical ways to get the type you want. Online sellers of succulents know how to grow, care for, and package their products.

Question: Can Agave Parryi Grow Indoors?

Answer: While these plants may seem like they are only suited for rough, outdoor living, they actually do quite well indoors. They simply need to be in a pot that will hold their bulk and allow them to grow. They will still need well-draining soil and plenty of warm, sunlight.

Question: What Are the Symptoms of Agave Poisoning?

Answer: The sap of agave can be toxic to humans and animals. Mostly, an allergic reaction will be mild or moderate, but if a large amount of sap has been ingested or allowed to contact skin, there could be other more severe reactions. If any of the following occur after contact with an agave plant, seek medical attention immediately.
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Diarrhea
– Upset stomach
– Mouth sores
– Liver or kidney issues
– Painful burning rashes or blisters

Concluding Thoughts:

Agave plants are alluring and foreboding at the same time; somehow, they manage to pull off the contradictory look. They are colorful and full of texture. They provide the perfect accent for gardens and walkways. They can fill an indoor space with natural life and freshness. They are simply versatile.

So, if you are considering updating your garden space, whether that is a plot of dirt in your yard, your back patio, or your kitchen windowsill, why not invite these complex little plants to join in? With several of them highlighted in your yard or window, you are sure to experience the natural feeling of wonder they bring.  Agave plants don’t disappoint.

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