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Planting an Agave outside in the UK?

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Planting an Agave outside in the UK?

Postby vbforvendetta » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:49 pm

Hi guys,
I've got an Agave that's getting too big for the greenhouse (it's about 3 feet wide at the mo), and was thinking about actually planting it outside while it will still fits through the door :D Although that'll be a job in itself. It stays in the greenhouse all winter (unheated) and is fine, I figured if I built a frame for it in the winter and kept it covered it would be ok? I'll obviously slightly elevate it in the ground and mix in plenty of stone and gravel for drainage.
If I don't move it now I'll never get it out the greenhouse and it's taking up too much room. I would, however, be really upset if it didn't survive outside, but i figure if I keep it covered it would be no different than being in the greenhouse. I live in Kent (South East England), our winters are not too bad, we had a severe winter year before last and it survived in the greenhouse for that one. I can't remember how long I've had it for but it's always lived in the greenhouse.
Thanks in advance :)
Cheers,
Mike.
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Re: Planting an Agave outside in the UK?

Postby Harriet » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:11 pm

If that is A. americana, I think it can probably handle your winter. Planting it in the ground will encourage it to grow much larger. Covering it would not hurt. That's a pretty plant.
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Re: Planting an Agave outside in the UK?

Postby iann » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:26 pm

They are grown outside in one or two locations in the UK. Tresco Gardens used to have one but it flowered. Can you match their climate? Basically most of the country is too wet and freezes too often in winter and you have no chance. Coastal parts of southern England, maybe you have a chance if you pick the perfect spot, but I'm guessing it won't live through many winters without a roof.
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Re: Planting an Agave outside in the UK?

Postby Saxicola » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:54 pm

This won't help with your current problem, but for future reference there are quite a few species of Agave that stay small (3' diameter or less). Agave victoria-reginae is an especially nice one (with quite the British name!). Keep them in mind for future greenhouse additions!
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Re: Planting an Agave outside in the UK?

Postby bananaman » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:55 pm

If you can somehow protect it from rain in the middle of winter, you can put it outside in the ground.
In one of my British succulent books, it suggests planting an agave on a slope so that water drains away from the crown.
Hope this helps!
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Re: Planting an Agave outside in the UK?

Postby vbforvendetta » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:34 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, guys! I plan on planting it on a bit of a mound, firstly to help with drainage but also as it's in a large tub some of the growth is below the level of the crown. I plan on leaving it open during summer, then keeping it covered the rest of the year. I thought if I build what may as well be a mini greenhouse then that would be no different than it being in the big one, so long as it's well protected but still able to have a circulation of air. Hope this all sounds like the right thing to do.
Saxicola, I have about three different types of Agave but they don't seem that widely available here, I'll put a pic of my other one :) I'd love to get more though.
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Re: Planting an Agave outside in the UK?

Postby GermanStar » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:25 am

This is in Newent and it's a rather current pic.

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Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".
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