by Christina Lopez
The agave stricta, also called the hedgehog agave, is a dramatic and small plant characterized by its striking symmetrical rosettes of evergreen leaves. This narrow, spine-tipped plant spreads to produce attractive colonies, and each hedgehog-like rosette has a crooked, tall flowering stem before it dies. The next rosette in line then grows to take its place.
Water the agave stricta sparingly because overwatering will spoil its form, cause uneven growth, and it will rot. It prefers well-drained soil and total exposure to the sun. Due to its symmetrical habits and small size, it is the perfect plant for rock gardens, containers, slopes, patios, banks, urban planners, and businesses, as long as its spiny leaves will not cause injury to anyone walking too close.
When planting the agave stricta, you will want to dig the holes or the beds more wide than deep and be careful to keep the root ball intact when removing the plant from its original container. Be sure to spread the roots outward and keep the plant level with its surrounding soil.
You will want to water the plant enough to settle the soil and stake larger plants not to be bothered by strong winds.
The agave stricta prefers periods of drought from time to time so water the soil very slowly and dry thoroughly before watering it.
The only time you need to prune these plants is to remove diseased, dead, or top-heavy growth. When possible, try to propagate the plant’s cuttings by inserting them into well-drained, clean potting soil.
Stem cuttings should be allowed to dry completely out for a few days or even weeks before replanting. Leaf cuttings and even individual leaves can sometimes sprout new plants when they are placed into moist soil. Seeds may also be sown on well-drained potting soil, providing they are kept very moist until they germinate. After germination, they can transplant them into small containers. Propagation
The agave stricta is quite content to go for very long periods without fertilizer. Please choose a suitable quality type with low nitrogen content when you fertilize and lightly scatter it around the plant’s base. When using a liquid plant food, use much less than the recommended strength as they can quickly become overfed.
When planting the agave stricta in a hanging basket, fill the basket with potting soil, leaving a bit of space at the top to make watering easier. Make a few holes in the ground for the new plants and prepare them by untangling the roots. It helps tuck the plant into the basket’s sides by using sphagnum moss to help control the growth pattern. Additionally, it can help use self-moisturizing crystals in the potting soil to retain moisture allowing for less watering. Hanging Basket Planting Tips.
Prepare the soil by adding any needed amendments and dig deep enough holes to set the whole roots. When removing the agave stricta from its container, be careful to handle the leaves or soil, never the stems. Loosen the root ball by gently squeezing it so the roots can grow outward when placed in the soil. Lightly pack the soil over the roots and be sure to cover with mulch to protect the plant from the hot sun. Water it very slowly every couple of days to help the roots to establish themselves without over watering and causing rot.
When the plant roots get too tight, they will need to be transplanted to another container. When doing so, carefully removed faded old or cluttered leaves first. After removing the agave stricta from its box, loosen the old soil and untangle the roots. Next, please place it in a slightly larger container, lightly fertilize and mulch the surface to prevent crusting from occurring after watering.
About Christina Lopez
Christina Lopez grew up in the beautiful city of Mountain View, California, where she spent eighteen ascetic years as a vegetarian before stumbling upon the exquisite delicacy of a strange chicken thigh. She’s been a city finalist competitive pingpong player, an ocean diver, an ex-pat in England and Japan, and a computer science doctoral student. Christina writes really late at night as spending most of her daytime enchanting her magical herb garden.