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Cacti and Succulents: Agave Kissho Kan

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48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2011
10:35 AM

Post #8791545

I took advantage of cooler temp yesterday (101F) and headed to 2 local nurseries where I found these lovely Agave Kissho Kan. I found one at each of the 2 nurseries, but liked both so well that I bought both. I have not seen these before; a Japanese hybrid of A. potatorum. Although both plants are labeled the same, you can see a distinct difference in the coloring. Both plants were raised by Monrovia Nurseries and I am usually suspect of plants that are brought in from out of state, I have had good luck with plants from Monrovia.

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48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2011
10:40 AM

Post #8791552

You can see that the Kissho Kan is distinctly different from a standard A. potatorum. This small potatorum I purchased a few weeks ago for a friend. I have a larger A. potatorum planted in ground in full sun. It takes the heat well but needs a little protection from frost. I don't know if the new hybrids have the same needs as the standard variety.

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48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2011
10:44 AM

Post #8791558

The Agave Kissho Kan is said to only grow to about 12 inches in size making it an ideal agave for pot culture. I am thinking of planting the 2 new new ones in a bowl planter similar to the planters in this picture (sorry for the poor photography)

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zone10

zone10
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

September 3, 2011
10:55 AM

Post #8791572

Beautiful plants 48! They will make great additions to your other bowl planters. Give em room to grow as they are prolific "puppers" as are most agaves.

Kell

Kell
Northern California, CA
(Zone 9b)


September 3, 2011
11:44 AM

Post #8791616

I was going to say that too, mine have pupped! I have 2 also, much like yours with one with lots of variegation and the other darker. I was wondering if they may be different cultivars. Yours look so big, are those 1 or 2 gallon pots? I have had mine for probably 3 years and they grow slowly, mine were small to begin with.. Yours look so perfect! I would be so thrilled with them. I like Monrovia too except for the cannas that seem to me to be all virused. I do not understand why growers are still selling them in California. That is pretty much all I see are virused ones for sale. Though you do pay top dollar for Monrovia plants.
48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2011
1:14 PM

Post #8791700

Hello Kell. These beauties had me hooked the moment I spotted them. I had not seen them offered here before, which makes me hopeful that's it's not because they are too whimpy for AZ. I am a big fan of agave in general and really I like the tight rosette form. And to be variegated also; well I almost sprained my fingers getting the charge card out. These are 2 gal size and were $30 each, but I had a gift certificate from Christmas at one nursery and a 20% off coupon at the other and my experience with Monvoria plants has been good. I can rationalize this another 100 ways but probably would need a new thread LOL.
In the third picture, there are a couple of small Confederate Rose agave waiting to be potted or planted. I have had terrible luck with Confederate Rose (A. parrasana) when planted in ground. I have a strawberry pot that is a death trap for anything I plant in it so I'm going to put the Confederate Rose in that. So I have a highly unsuccessful pot combined with and equally unsuccessful pant-----what could go wrong?!!!

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

September 3, 2011
2:51 PM

Post #8791798

The unglazed clay strawberry pot is probably the fastest drying pot there is. I have some Oscularia plants growing in one and they are not too thrilled about it.

I have the normal (unvariegated) Kissho Kan and a white variegated form. Your cream-colored plant is pretty cool. The variegated plants grow smaller and slower, I think. They all seem to enjoy summer water, which Mother Nature does not provide here. If you grow them too hard (I have learned) the leaves start curling up around the edges, especially toward the bottom. The Confederate Rose (which is a potatorum, judging by its flower) undergoes seasonal changes like that here, in containers and in the ground. Gentry calls Agave potatorum "taxonomically frustrating" because there is so much variation, but it comes from places with summer rainfall.

I also learned from Gentry that the name "Butterfly Agave", which applies to these cute little plants, comes from the Nahuatl "papalometl", not the Japanese, who gave us "Happy Crown" instead.

Check out the variegated Kissho Kans on this page.

http://gallery.plantdelights.com/Public-Agaves?page=2

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

September 3, 2011
3:05 PM

Post #8791814

PS for people not from Mexico... Nahuatl is the leading "national language" of Mexico today. It is also responsible for the words avocado (which comes from ahuacatl) and chocolate (which comes from xocolatl). One of my favorite words in Nahuatl is Manhatitlan, which means New York.
xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2011
3:45 PM

Post #8791857

Here are two photos of my 'Kissho Kan'. It is a beauty and has given me a number of babies. Xuling

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xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2011
3:46 PM

Post #8791858

And a second view. Different times of day with the sun and shade create different color effects.
Xuling

This message was edited Sep 3, 2011 2:47 PM

Thumbnail by xuling
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48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2011
3:59 PM

Post #8791860

Baja, I have read several on line discussions about the Confederate Rose agave and whether or not it is parrasana or potatorum. I have nothing to add to that discussion except the plants I have purchased as Confederate Rose were all labeled parrasana which is probably meaningless. However past Confederate Rose agave I have planted died quickly in the heat whereas the potatorum agave survived with no problem. Also, when I sit the 2 small Confederate Rose agave in picture 3 along side the standard potatorum in the same picture they vary in both color and leaf shape. I can't say what Confederate Rose is, but in my own experience, it does not seem to be potatorum.

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

September 3, 2011
4:51 PM

Post #8791900

The inflorescence on a parrasana looks very different from the one on a potatorum. The "Confederate Rose" flowers like a potatorum, maybe an isthmensis, but not a parrasana. The people mass-producing these plants for Home Depot (which is where I got mine) among other places labeled their plants wrong for a good while but I think they may have corrected that now. Here are a few pictures of the flower on the plant in question.

http://www.xericworld.com/forums/members/kelly-griffin-albums-agave-potatorum-dwarf-aka-confederate-rose.html

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


September 3, 2011
5:21 PM

Post #8791927

Another point is Agave parasanna is usually a very slow plant to offset and once mature has uniquely ornamental rosettes which do not look like any of the A potatorum varieties (which there seem to be dozens). A 'Confederate Rose' is a prolifically offsetting plant so is certainly not an Agave parassana, nor does it even vaguely look like one. It looks much more like tiny, suckering A potatorum, but then again, A potatorum often doesn't look like A potatorum since it is such a variable thing. Though it still is unknown what exactly this 'Confederate Rose' thing is, it sure seems to have a lot of A potatorum in it... but no A parassana that I can tell.

As for how A Confederate Rose grows, it does seem to be a bit more prone to rot than most small suckering agaves.. I have one large mass that almost gets no water except for when it rains and it seems content with that, but my attempts to water others have ended up with dead plants.
48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2011
5:28 PM

Post #8791937

Nice plant Xuling. I assume that Kissho Kan has been available in CA for some time? Baja, my agave (except for several a. parryi) are young enough that I have not seen them bloom. I can only go by the growth habit I have seen and visually looking at the 2 side by side. It really matters not, I only want to know what to expect for growth habit and I have figure that out on my own. As is often the case with common names, "Confederate Rose" may be applied to more than 1 variety of agave.

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

September 3, 2011
6:14 PM

Post #8791999

In this case I think it could be the other way around, actually. Many different names seem to be applied to this 1 particular common agave cultivar, depending on who is bringing it to market. It pups like crazy, that's for sure.
48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2011
8:52 PM

Post #8792138

Palmbob, can you comment on the growth habit of Kissho Kan, can I expect it to behave like the standard potatorum??

Kell

Kell
Northern California, CA
(Zone 9b)


September 3, 2011
10:16 PM

Post #8792195

Baja, you have Agave 'Desert Diamond' - a Kissho Kan' sport with wider edge? http://gallery.plantdelights.com/Public-Agaves/Agave_Kissho_Kan_with_wider_edge_at_Walters

I love that one though there are a few on Plant Delights agave gallery, I want but of course! WOW so many sports. I sure hope one of us gets a fancy sprot!

Those are a good size, Flash. I would have grabbed them too. While I have seen them here they are not hanging out at every nursery corner for sure. I too love the compact variegated, I see and I want. LOL
Illig1
Redwood City, CA

September 3, 2011
10:28 PM

Post #8792202

My kisho kans were beautiful but each and every one rotted to death in winter.

Kell

Kell
Northern California, CA
(Zone 9b)


September 3, 2011
10:31 PM

Post #8792206

Oh too bad. Mine are on my dining room table with the rest of my mini agave collection but of course. LOL I think Flora Grubbs here usually has them in small pots for sale.

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

September 4, 2011
12:32 AM

Post #8792239

Kell, mine looks something like that very nice white one, but I think it's just the regular common one that is being tissue cultured by the millions right now.

I don't usually think of agaves as rot-prone plants, so it's interesting to hear that some of these plants have been problematic in that respect. The smaller Kissho Kans and Confederate Roses here tolerate our very wet winters and enjoy summer irrigation (in moderation, of course).

zone10

zone10
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

September 4, 2011
8:45 AM

Post #8792578

Illig, how cold do your winters get? Agave's seem very tolerant of water but many don't like it too cold.
xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2011
4:33 PM

Post #8793255

My Kissho Kan spends life outdoors in a raised bed so it has drainage, but we got lots of rain last year. I do cover it up for weather under 29 degrees. But it does tolerate lots of winter rain with good drainage.
Xuling
Illig1
Redwood City, CA

September 4, 2011
7:57 PM

Post #8793536

I agree very much that agaves are not usually rotters which was why I was so surprised at the carnage. (In fact my experience is that agaves LOVE summer water and rich soil and are very tolerant of winter moisture.) However, probably because I didn't usually worry about rotting agaves (as well as plain old negligence), I did not move them to a good winter sun area. Consequently, I left them in a pretty shaded area during the winter which had lots of rain and intermittent light frosts. My sense is that it was the wet, not the cold, that led to their demise.
48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2011
8:54 PM

Post #8793614

I think I'll pot these two beauties rather than planting in ground. That will give me the ability to provide spring / fall full sun, summer shade and supplemental water, and winter protection at least until I better understand how they respond to the AZ climate

zone10

zone10
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

September 4, 2011
10:44 PM

Post #8793704

Wow Illig, sounds like those agaves were not in a happy place!
Illig1
Redwood City, CA

September 9, 2011
7:23 PM

Post #8801461

Zone10, No they were not in a happy place. They are in one of those difficult areas that get really strong afternoon sun in the summer, and then get little to no sun in the winter because the sun is hiding behind the house. The Agaves have been such doers that I was nonchalant and very careless. I was led astray by my stout-hearted medio-pictas which tolerate zero winter sun and super wet conditions with aplomb!

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 24, 2011
7:44 PM

Post #8904408

[quote="48flash"]I think I'll pot these two beauties rather than planting in ground. That will give me the ability to provide spring / fall full sun, summer shade and supplemental water, and winter protection at least until I better understand how they respond to the AZ climate[/quote]

Solid idea, I find it rather likely that A. 'Kissho Kan' is quite tender. I frequently see it listed as Zone 10b.

You'll find some fine (and not overpriced!) examples of A. parrasana at P&M, I believe he got them rather recently. This is a fine Agave, particularly well-suited to life in the Valley. There is nothing about Confederate Rose that reminds me of A. parrasana in the least.
48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 24, 2011
9:02 PM

Post #8904546

Yet another reason to head out to P&M. GermanStar, I agree that Confederate Rose is not A. parrasana (It's now labeled as Agave species by Altmans) but do you think it is A. potatorum?

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 24, 2011
9:30 PM

Post #8904606

Not per se, but like A. 'Kissho Kan', it may be an A. potatorum hybrid.
TX_gardener
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 25, 2011
5:33 AM

Post #8904810

Here's a link to Yucca Do's description --

http://www.yuccado.com/agave-x-leo.html

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 29, 2012
6:24 PM

Post #9186808

Just thought I'd mention how impressed I am with the ability of A. Kissho Kan to tolerate heat/sun. I have one (under) potted with several pups outside where it sees full sun from noon until sunset, and it's taking it like a champ. It's also extremely drought tolerant, and apparently needs no additional irrigation to mitigate this extreme exposure. It may look dainty, but this is one tough Agave.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 29, 2012
7:28 PM

Post #9186895

Those are beautiful!
48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 30, 2012
8:56 AM

Post #9187407

I agree GS. My 2 Kissho Kan are in pots near the Palo Brea tree but they get hot hot hot afternoon sun which they take in stride. Not even a hint of sunburn. I water about once every 10 days to 2 weeks. Both plants are producing pups.

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 30, 2012
9:26 AM

Post #9187443

Too bad they aren't a little hardier, we need more Agaves that take sun like that. HD had 1-gal Kissho Kan for $5.48 a short while ago, so I now have one little guy in the ground. We'll see how it goes this winter before experimenting with the bigger one.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 30, 2012
2:27 PM

Post #9187803

Makes me want to run to HD immediately! Those are beautiful.
xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 30, 2012
7:06 PM

Post #9188162

I double checked all of mine, the mother and the separated babies, and those growing in the direct hot sun do tend to fade a little. But the mother has new pups growing as do some of the babies. xuling

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