Fruits of our labors even if some took “almost” a century

April 18th, 2013 Posted in Agave celsii, Late spring flowers, agaves, disease, fruit trees, garden design, native plants, poppies, succulents

I’m always so glad when the Byzantine gladiolus flowers this time every year. But doesn’t that face look a tad grumpy?

Byzantine gladiolus funny face

Starting from just three or so pass-alongs corms, it multiplies every year, so it’s actually very happy!

Maggie rose is looking mighty nice, too.

Maggie rose

Still, she’s a little out of sorts since she came down with a case of powdery mildew thanks to cool nights and moisture in the air.

Powdery mildew on rose

She’ll work it out herself without medication, but if you’re worried about it on your plants, check out neem oil or Serenade. Just don’t apply in the heat of day and don’t use Serenade when the bees are active.

Up the street, an Agave americana is about out of time, though it won’t relinquish its claim to that corner for a century or more, thanks to its pups. And their pups. . .

century plant bloom stalk

Coincidentally, it sent up its final comment just as a Central Texas Gardener Facebook question came in about century plants. So, this week, Daphne answers: does it actually take a century to bloom? Nope.

Hella Wagner shared some pictures of her plant’s glorious ascension as the mother plant died. Daphne explains the process, and how the bloom stalk itself can even be dangerous.

Agave americana bloom stalk

Agave americana flower stalk on ground

My yuccas up front (Y. pallida and Y. reverchonii,) are reaching for the sky, too, but they won’t end their life with this springtime bloom.

Yucca pallida bloom stalks Central Texas

Back to agaves, Daphne makes this deer-resistant, drought-tough genus her Pick of the Week. There are many species and cultivars in various forms, colors, sizes and habitats.

Agave shawii 'Blue Flame'

Mostly, they want good drainage, though my A. celsii does fine in my island bed that I’ve gradually amended with compost and mulch.

Agave celsii

Do look at their cold hardiness. I fell in love with an A. celsii ‘Tricolor’, as it was called then, which is rated for a zone or two just warmer than us. First crazy freeze and they were mush. My regular celsii didn’t fare well in 17 degrees but did return, just slightly modified.

Do take a serious look at their mature size, too. This cute little A. americana will grow up fast, and it won’t take even 10 years!

Agave americana baby

Mature agave americana with jerusalem sage

Event note: The Cactus & Succulent Society of America convenes in Austin June 15 -20, with tours, incredible talks and more. For details and to register, visit

Certainly, it doesn’t take a century to enjoy homegrown citrus! This week, Tom joins Michelle Pfluger from Green ‘n Growing for her list of easy, productive, and fairly cold tolerant ones to grow.

Tom Spencer and Michelle Pfluger Green 'n Growing Nursery

Recently, I added a calamondin to a patio container. We love the fragrant flowers and can’t wait for its slightly sour fruits a few months down the road.

calamondin green fruits

In the ground, my Satsuma ‘Mr. Mac’ is going gangbusters, thanks to the temperate winter and a little high nitrogen fertilizer in March.

satsuma orange new fruits

On tour in Liberty Hill, April and Cliff Hendricks harvest Improved Meyer lemons, along with dreams, in close-up gardens bordering their wide open land. With scavenges, imagination, and artistry, they created a paradise without spending a ton of money.

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard about ollas to water plants in conservative times. John Dromgoole gives us the scoop.


Find out more at Dripping Springs Ollas.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda

  1. 11 Responses to “Fruits of our labors even if some took “almost” a century”

  2. By Daphne on Apr 18, 2013

    Loved, loved, loved this segment! ‘Mr Mac’ and oodles of Agaves–right up my alley. And such fab century plant inflorescence photos from Hella. This week really did come together, thanks to your fabulous leadership!


    Linda reply on April 18th, 2013 3:42 pm:

    Pooh! I’m just the electronic butler. YOU, our guests, and our friends like Hella, make this rock. And our director extraordinaire, Ed! LOVED your insight into century plants–I learn something new every week.


  3. By Ann Daly on Apr 18, 2013

    We have two century plants sending up their stalks. Sad to see the patriarchs of the field and fenceline garden pass away…


    Linda reply on April 20th, 2013 3:52 pm:

    I know Ann! But do you have pups?


  4. By Cindy, MCOK on Apr 19, 2013

    The Byzantine Glad DOES have a grumpy face!


    Linda reply on April 20th, 2013 3:51 pm:

    Hi, Cindy! Isn’t it cute? Will check in with you soon.


  5. By Hella on Apr 19, 2013

    Don’t downgrade the butler – without a good butler nothing works!
    Thank you for the kudos!


    Linda reply on April 20th, 2013 3:51 pm:

    You’re a true Texas treasure!


  6. By Desert Dweller/David C. on Apr 20, 2013

    A fun episode, all of it. Even from my view as far as the eye can see, as the first segment noted, I too like sheltered, secret areas to hide! Quite the agave feature DR did, too.


    Linda reply on April 20th, 2013 3:50 pm:

    Thank you David!


  7. By John Pinto on Apr 25, 2013

    Just under planning some perennial seeds in my backyard and came across wild leeks that had this crazy Regiment of freezing and warming the seeds over the next six months or simply so in the ground and wait two or three years. I guess good things come to those that wait


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