Century plant – Succulent garden
Century plant (Agave americana) is a large succulent plant of the Asparagaceae family. It is currently developed as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. It is extremely great when enormous, with its bold structure, and beautiful form. The leaves end in a long, sharply pointed blade tip that can be 3 inches long. The up to 3 meters-long inflorescence has horizontal branches and sits on top of a 6 to 12 meters high stem. The flowers are pale yellow and pollinated by butterflies and bats. In the tropics agave americana flowers after 10 to 15 years and in colder climates it can take up to 50 years to bloom. It is also known by the name American aloe but Agave americana is not related to aloe vera, which is an entirely different plant that belongs to the aloe family
Medicinal benefits of Agave americana:
Century plant (Agave americana) was used as an herbal remedy for weak digestion, intestinal gas, and constipation. The juice has antibacterial properties and can be utilized internally to control the growth of decay bacteria in the stomach and intestines. The juice made from the agave plant contains estrogen-like isoflavonoid, alkaloids, coumarin and vitamins B1, B2, C, D and K, and provitamin A.
Scientific Name: Agave americana
Common Name: Century plant, sentry plant, maguey or American aloe.
Synonyms: Agave ingens var. picta, Agave zonata, Agave virginica, Agave variegata, Agave americana var. theometel, Agave theometel, Agave subzonata, Agave spectabilis, Agave ramosa, Agave picta, Agave altissima, Agave rasconensis, Agave milleri, Agave communis, Agave complicata, Agave felina, Agave fuerstenbergii, Agave gracilispina, Agave ingens, Agave melliflua.
How to grow and maintain Century plant:
Splendid, south or south-east light. If natural light is not adequate, you can supplement with a nice natural white fluorescent bulb.
Century plant is very adaptable. Soils low in clay content are fine. The surface can be sandy or rocky. In areas with substantial rainfall, well-drained soil is necessary.
They incline toward warm spring and summer temperatures (70ºF/21ºC – 90ºF/32ºC) and cooler fall and winter temps (50ºF/10ºC – 60ºF/15ºC).
The thick, fleshy leaves of Century plant are adapted to store water. During the hot summer months, water when the top 1inch of the potting mix is dry to the touch. Diminish watering in the fall, and in winter, watering about once a month is sufficient.
Apply standard fluid compost every two weeks during the active growing period. Try not to fertilize the plant during the resting period.
Century plant can be propagated by multiplication of the underground bulbs.
Pests and Diseases:
Plants could suffer from infestations of by wooly mealie bugs, but it is usually free from diseases.