questionsmy century plant is blooming- who has a good idea…


Try calling some of your local lawn and garden centers. Maybe they can give you some suggestions. Or perhaps your local extension office could help.


I've taken a ton of these out. If no one has offered up suggestions, when I return, later today, I'll provide specific directions on how to do it (without losing fingers).


I don't have an answer for you, but I was curious about the plant, and stumbled upon this article: Couple return from holiday to find plant has shot up to 25ft.
"The Agave, a succulent, is known as a Century Plant because of its life-cycle. It flowers only once after decades of dormancy and then dies. A Royal Horticultural Society expert said: ‘They build up their resources and, when strong enough, shoot up. This uses up all its energy and it dies.'"

How tragic!


@shrdlu: Looking forward to your advice. I'd also be interested in any sort of timeline anybody could give me on time-to-branch/flower bloom and and long the bloom stalk will live.

@pulsetv: I can't be sure, but I believe the agave described in that article is the same variant as mine. The house is 12 yrs old, so the timing is about right for agave americana in my zone (7B).

The other part of my problem is that the previous owners let suckers come up throughout the bed where the old dame is living-right next to the walk leading to the front door-so my work will probably include removing most/all of them to be given away to anybody in the area who wants one. These sisters range from 4 ft across to just a few inches and have continued coming up since I've lived in the home.


@ki4rxm: Okay, here you go. BTW, first off, I'd wait until it started dying before worrying about it. I've had plants live for several years after they bloomed. No, I don't know why, but they did. Once you decide to dig it up, I recommend using a trenching shovel, once you've got to the root itself. You will need to cut most of the leaves back, before starting. Please, wear a long sleeved shirt, and wear leather gloves.

I have been known to use a machete to cut back the leaves, but mine is sharpened (they don't come that way). A good solid lopper will get most of the leaves, though. The root usually goes pretty deep, but you won't have to worry about how deep it goes. You just need to get to a point where the plant will come out of the ground. Here's the basic steps.

1. Remove the outer leaves.
2. Start digging around the plant, removing dirt from at least two points. You don't need to dig it all out, you just need room for leverage.


@ki4rxm: [Cont]
3. Using the trenching shovel as a lever, try to uproot the plant from one side.
4. Move to the other point you've selected, and do it again.

You may be able to see the root by now. Use the lopper to cut anything that seems in the way. The plant is dead, after all, and it should be fairly easy to disengage it from the ground. Just in case it seems like a lot of work to do this, I want to point out that I'm female, five feet tall, and not easily discouraged. If there are a lot of volunteer plants nearby, you should be getting rid of them too.


@shrdlu: Thanks! You're welcome to come help! I'll even let you take one home.


My neighbors had some that never died after blooming. Like others have said, wait til after it dies to start worrying about it.