Agave for beauty, good and fun
Agave (Agave) - a succulent plant with a rosette of thick leaves, as a rule, there are thorns along the edges of the leaves. Succulent plants are called fleshy leaves in which moisture can be stored. The birthplace of agave is Central America, where some types of agave are used as raw materials for tequila. Agave blooms every 10 to 25 years, after which the plant dies.
Agave leaf color is extremely diverse. The most popular agave is the American "Marginata" (Agave americana "Marginata"), it has green leaves with yellow stripes, serrate at the edges, reaching 1 - 1.3 m in length with age. The variety "Mediopikta" (Agave americana "Mediopicta") has cream leaves with green edges. Due to its large size, American agave is more suitable for conservatories and office premises than for apartments. An interesting appearance of Agave filifera (Agave filifera), in which the leaves are about 30 cm long, is lifted up, and thin hairs hang down from their ends. Agave Queen Victoria (Agave victoriae-reginae) is well suited for growing in apartments, she has dark green triangular leaves with a white border and black spines, the height of the plant is about 15 cm. A very colorful, but rare species of agave is Agave parassana (Agave parassana ), its blue-gray with bright red spines leaves are immediately evident. The threads on the leaves and compact size and in small-flowered agave (Agave parviflora). Narrow-leaved agave "Marginata" (Agave angustifilia "Marginata") forms a rosette of narrow leaves 70 - 100 cm long with green and white stripes of leaves that have small denticles along the edges. In addition, on sale you can find such agave species as drawn agave (Agave attenuata), striped agave (Agave striata), gray agave (Agave perrine), agave sisal (Agave sisalana), frightening agave (Agave ferox), agave Franzosini ( Agave franzosinii) and bright red agave (Agave coccinea).
Agave is a very unpretentious plant. It prefers bright lighting and is not afraid of direct sunlight. In the summer, the temperature should be high, in winter it is desirable to keep it at 10 - 12 degrees, although it tolerates a decrease to 6 degrees. Agaves like to have a sufficiently large amplitude between the night and day temperatures. Agave does not need to be sprayed, the room where it is contained should be often ventilated, in summer it is good to take the plant out into the open air.
Agave should be watered regularly in the warm season, in winter - very rarely (1 - 2 times a month). Agaves feed little, not more than once a month in the summer, transplant as necessary, the plant does not require a large amount of soil. Either soil for succulents is chosen for planting, or a soil mixture is prepared from turf and leaf soil, humus and sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1: 0.5. Agaves are propagated by root offspring or seeds.
© Stan Shebs
Agave pests or diseases are rarely affected. Most problems are caused by excess moisture, especially in the winter. In this case, the base of the stem may decay, and the leaves turn pale and fade. It is necessary to cut off the top of the agave and re-root it, water less, taking into account previous mistakes. If there is not enough moisture in the summer, then dry brown spots may appear on the leaves, then you need to increase watering.
From the leaves of many types of agave, ropes, ropes, twine, rugs, wrapping and other coarse fabrics are made; paper is made from waste, mainly wrapping. Some types of agave are bred in the tropical regions of both hemispheres to produce fiber. The most valuable are agave sisal (Agave sisalana), which gives the so-called sisal, agave furciform, or Yucatan hemp (Agave fourcroydes) - geneken (Yucatan sisal), Agave cantala (Agave cantala) - cantaloux, and others.
Dark green agave juice (Agave atrovirens) and others, collected before flowering, are used to prepare an alcoholic drink - pulke, and strong alcoholic drinks - tequila and mezcal - are made from the agave core. Blue agave (Agave tequilana) is used to make tequila.
The roots of some agaves in Mexico are used in medicine. The leaves of American and Sisal Agave contain steroidal saponins used for the synthesis of steroid hormonal drugs - cortisone, progesterone. In China, from both species, substances have been obtained that make up a new group of contraceptives, which have an important advantage - it is enough to take them 1-2 times a month. American agave (Agave americana) is used in homeopathy. American Agave, Agave drawn (Agave attenuata), Queen Victoria Agave (Agave victoriae-reginae) and many others are bred as original indoor and greenhouse plants.