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Cacti and Succulents: I would like a happy agave fillifera....ideas?

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kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 28, 2013
12:31 PM

Post #9500013

It was in the ground, full sun and happy, with dark green coloring. Winter hit it hard which is strange because everything else around it, including other agaves, did fine. It lightened up in color and the bottom leaves turned brown, some were slightly mushy feeling. I cut them all off and potted it up. It is in sun/part shade but is showing weird lines across the leaves and still looks fairly pale in color compared to it's formerly lovely self. I Can feel the texture of the lines. What do these need? It is getting watered regularly. Should I allow it to dry out? Get more sun? Less sun? I can't find it's happy spot.

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GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 28, 2013
12:44 PM

Post #9500029

May have been some winter rot. A. filifera is one the few Agaves that manages well in full sun or full shade. Don't know what you mean by 'watered regularly' but all succulents need to dry out thoroughly in between waterings. Leaf color -- dark green, light green, even light yellowing is a response to sun (or lack thereof) and is not necessarily indicative of health. The more sun, the lighter the foliage.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 28, 2013
12:48 PM

Post #9500032

Thank you. I may be over watering. I thought maybe the lines were a shriveling reaction to being under watered. I'll lay off it and let it chill out... :) (before I love it to death)

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

April 28, 2013
6:03 PM

Post #9500402

I water those agaves no more than once a month here for most of the year and they chug along just fine. Was it growing by a lawn or a tree that gets lots of water? I haven't seen wrinkles on the ones around here, they seem to burn through lower leaves instead, but they're quite tolerant of dry soil. And tolerant of day-long sun (though the foliage does change color).

That said, I would put the agave in mostly shade or filtered light, a nice bright well-ventilated place, while it's showing obvious signs of stress, especially after root damage (from being dug up and handled). What did the roots look like? Did they get a chance to dry out when you repotted the plant?
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 30, 2013
10:23 AM

Post #9502798

The roots looked healthy. I did not let it dry out. It is getting quite a bit of water where I have it now (sprinkler sprays it) , so I'll move it.

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

April 30, 2013
3:17 PM

Post #9503123

Sounds like a plan. Agaves are pretty tough plants.

Whenever an agave endures trauma, or gets a serious root pruning, there's no harm done in letting it sit bare-root for a few days in the shade. Other genera not so much but agaves seem to heal better after damage when they have a good drying-out period up front. I use the shortcut of potting them up in dry, rocky soil and then waiting a week to water, which seems to work the same.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 30, 2013
4:41 PM

Post #9503213

Thanks for the great advice. It's funny that my others sailed through, except for the attenuata. The others seem to not care whether extra water hits them or not... I may need to do the same treatment for the attenuata. They both hated winter and got a severe clipping.

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 30, 2013
6:53 PM

Post #9503392

A. attenuata is wicked tender. If it got anywhere near freezing last winter, that would definitely leave a mark...
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 1, 2013
9:54 AM

Post #9504153

It did. It was large beautiful thing when I bought it and now it is a tiny 5 leaf sad looking thing. It does have new growth thankfully.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2013
9:56 PM

Post #9512743

Ok, it looked like it was losing a few leaves again. My kiddo was playing with the hose and soaked it a few days ago. So I touched the leaf and it fell off. And another and another. I them pulled it out of the pot and half the root stock was rotted off. I cleaned it up and stuck it in a small pot with VERY rocky soil, with your advice, and set it safely away from any water mishaps. Sigh. It's so small now. The rest of the leaves feel tight. Fingerscrossed.

So wait a week? Or more? I'll be almost terrified to water it.

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

May 8, 2013
1:17 PM

Post #9513524

A week or two should be fine. Be sure to excise all the rotten parts below ground. Plant should rebound if the core is healthy. There will be a lag so you'll have to be patient.

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