Agave Stricta

How To Grow Agave Stricta

The agave stricta, also called the hedgehog agave, is a dramatic and small plant, characterized by its striking symmetrical rosettes of evergreen leaves.  This narrow, spine-tipped plant spreads to produce attractive colonies and each individual hedgehog-like rosette produces a crooked, tall flowering stem before it dies.  The next rosette in line then grows to take its place.

Water the agave stricta sparingly because over watering will spoil its form, cause uneven growth and it will rot.  It prefers a well-drained soil and full exposure to sun.  Due to its symmetrical habits and small size, it is the perfect plant for rock gardens, containers, slopes, patios, banks, urban planters and businesses, as long as their spiny leaves will not cause injury to anyone walking too close.

Planting

When planting the agave stricta you will want to dig the holes or the beds more wide than deep and be careful to keep the root ball intact when removing the plant from its original container.  Be sure to spread the roots outward and keep the plant level with its surrounding soil.

You will want to water the plant enough to settle the soil and stake larger plants so they will not be bothered by strong winds.

Watering And Pruning

The agave stricta actually prefers periods of drought from time to time so water the soil very slowly and allow it to dry completely before watering it again.

The only time you need to prune these plants is to remove diseased, dead or top-heavy growth.  When possible, try to propagate the cuttings from the plant by inserting them into well-drained, clean potting soil.

Propagation

Stem cuttings should be allowed to dry completely out for a few days or even weeks prior to replanting.  Leaf cuttings and even individual leaves can sometimes sprout new plants when they are placed into moist soil.  Seeds may also be sown on well-drained potting soil, providing they are kept very moist until they germinate.  After germination they can be transplanted into small containers.

Fertilization

The agave stricta is quite content to go very long periods of time without fertilizer.  When you do fertilize, choose a good quality type that has low nitrogen content and lightly scatter it around the plant's base.  Also, when using a liquid plant food, use much less than the recommended strength as they can easily become overfed.

Hanging Basket Planting Tips

When planting the agave stricta in a hanging basket, fill the basket with potting soil, leaving a bit of space at the top to make watering easier.  Make a few holes in the soil for the new plants and prepare them by untangling the roots.  It is helpful to tuck the plant into the sides of the basket by using sphagnum moss to help control the growth pattern.  Additionally, it can be useful to use self-moisturizing crystals in the potting soil to retain moisture allowing for less watering.

Transplanting Into Your Garden

Prepare the soil be adding any needed amendments and dig deep enough holes to set the full roots into.  When removing the agave stricta from its container, be careful to handle the leaves or soil, never the stems.  Loosen the root ball by gently squeezing it so the roots can grow outward when placed in the soil.  Lightly pack the soil over the roots and be sure to cover with mulch to protect the plant from the hot sun.  Water it very slowly every couple of days to help the roots to establish themselves without over watering and causing rot.

Transplanting To Another Pot

When the plant roots get too tight, they will need to be transplanted to another container.  When doing so, careful removed faded, old or cluttered leaves first.  After removing the agave stricta from its container, loosen the old soil and untangle the roots.  Next, place it in a slightly larger container, lightly fertilize and mulch the surface to prevent any crusting from occurring after watering.