Agave guadalajarana - 10 seeds
Agave guadalajarana is a usually solitary small tightly formed Agave, but suckers occasionally. It forms compact rosettes 25-50 cm tall by 35-75 cm wide (or more), broader than tall. It holds a lot of leaves for a larger Agave; these are paddle- shaped, widest above the middle, grey-green with distinctive overlapping marks. The edges of the leaves are conspicuously mammillate toward apex with big spines and they end each in a thick brown thorn
1. Mix equal amounts of garden soil, sand and broken brick perlite. Sterilize prepared substrate by putting it in a microwave for 3 minutes or in your oven for 45 minutes approximately.
2. Previously prepared containers for planting are to be filled with substrate, but while doing it, be careful and leave some space at the top, at least 0.5 inches (2cm). Add plenty of water and leave the container, so that the water has some time to decant.
3. Plant Agave seeds, but leave at least 0.4 inches (1cm) of space between each seed. Then cover the seeds again with a thin layer of substrate, and to finish it off, cover it with a thin layer of fine gravel, with grains no bigger than 0.12 inches (3mm). Water it again.
4. Moisture is the most important part for seed germination. It’s best to cover the container with a piece of nylon or a plastic bag in order to keep it moisturized. The container with seeds should be put somewhere warm, but not exposed to direct sunlight. The temperature needed for Agave to germinate is 77°F (25°C) and above.
5. The germination can start as soon as 4 days after planting, but it’s more frequent for it to start after 10-12 days. Remove the glass that kept the container moisturized 2 weeks after planting.
6. You need to spray the substrate every day, it cannot be let to completely dry off. It is also important to provide the plant with sufficient sunlight during the day, but avoid direct sunlight for a couple of months. It’s of great importance for Agaves not to change its light regime during this sensitive period. Try to provide it with a similar amount of light every day.
7. Agave’s seedlings have a tendency to fall over, which can be fatal for them. You can prevent that by adding some pebbles around the plants. Agaves bred from the seed start off as one leaf. The empty shell of the seed can stay at the top of the plant for a long time. You can take it of gently by yourself, but it’s not necessary. The plant starts to form a new leaf four weeks after germination, so they start looking like mature Agaves. However, only after forming the third leaf will Agaves look more like their parents.
A rosette will typically mature over time to 2' tall by 3' wide. Each leaf has spiny margins with a one inch terminal spine. Suckers/offsets root at the base of the rosette forming over time a colony of rosettes. Each rosette will flower only once, usually at some point between 10-15 years (not the 100 years suggested by the also-used common name of century plant used for some agaves), but sometimes flowering will not occur until 20-30 years. One huge flowering stalk (to 20' tall) will rise from each rosette, with each stalk producing 20 to 30 side branches and with each side branch containing a large cluster of creamy yellow flowers. In its native habitat, flowers typically bloom in summer (June - August). Flowers are followed by seed pods. The flowering rosette dies after flowering, but new rosettes formed by suckers/offsets from the base of the mother plant will remain. Native Americans used this agave as a source of food, fiber, soap and medicine. Plant liquids may be fermented to form an alcoholic beverage called pulque which may be further distilled to form mescal or tequila. Reliably winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-10. Best growth occurs in a sandy/gritty, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Sharp soil drainage is important. Poorly-drained soils inevitably lead to root rot. Tolerates dry soils and drought. Surprisingly good winter hardiness for this succulent. Plants have reportedly survived winters with temperatures as low as -20F (USDA Zone 5), but cold temperatures should be "dry cold" as opposed to "wet cold".