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Century Plant

August 2012

QuestionI bought a century plant several years ago. Just recently, it seems over night, a strange ‘thing’ sprang up in the middle of the plant about three feet long. It first started shedding seeds, and then, it looks like about ten little plants started growing on the sides of the appendage. There are also a number of smaller plants growing around the base of the “mother" plant. My question is, can I remove the plants from the mother?


AnswerThe century plant is an agave. While it can take a long time before the mother plant blooms, it doesn’t take 100 years. The bloom stalk appears in the center of the plant and as it begins to grow, I think it looks like a giant asparagus spear before the blooms open. The flower stalk can get quite tall and begin to branch out before the flowers open. It does set seeds and then the stalk will wither and die. The mother plant also dies after it blooms, but produces numerous pups or babies around the base of the plant. You can start removing the babies and giving them their own space to grow in.


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