Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hail and the Jumping Agave

Do you have any gardening superstition? I don't but I think I'm starting to develop one. That is that I must be careful when cutting and repotting Agave attenuata for doing so brings hail!


It started last year when I chopped two Agave attenuata living in our conservatory that were leaning at an acute angle which I then repotted upright. One detail that I forgot to mention on my post about it then was that some light hail fell as soon as I did the deed. Just my luck, they remained pristine indoors (albeit leaning) and the short moment they spent outdoors it just had to hail, great! Fortunately it was only light and the blemishes it sustained was minimal and barely noticeable.


Fast forward to May this year. In a recent post I made about my favourite shed it featured a photo of the Agave attenuata that was on the table inside that shed. Just like the two specimens living in the conservatory this one also developing a lean but still seemed secure in remaining upright with its heavy terracotta pot. Or so I thought. Going back into the shed the next day I discovered that the agave had fallen on to the floor, some leaves broken and gravel mulch scattered all over the place making a royal mess. Sigh, the agave has just jumped! The lean was bad enough for it to inevitably topple.

The jumping agave (fortunately the other succulents weren't harmed when it jumped)
And what to do now that it is too top heavy and with a lean? Chop and repot of course, like what I've done to two others before. And so I did just that and it didn't look too bad at all despite the topple and the cut. But shortly afterwards, guess what, hail fell again! But this time it was a tad heavier and the damage and blemishes it has caused is much more visible.

Poor pockmarked Agave attenuata!
So is this variegated one
Even this Agave lophantha got blemished
Oh well, I'm sure I'll be chopping and repotting an Agave attenuata again at various points in the future. But perhaps do it under cover and let it stay there for a few days just in case it hails...

Mark :-)

24 comments :

  1. Haha, that is bad luck!! I hope it wont start to hail next times you work with your agaves! and I also hope your A. attenuata will grow and hide those blemishes fast.

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    1. They grow very quick Lisa, in a month you would barely notice the blemishes :) no more hail please!

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  2. Hmm. So there's a weather god somewhere who doesn't like people tampering with his Agaves, eh? If you discover one that brings rain, please let me know - my rain dancing is getting old.

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    1. I'll let you know Kris once I do. The weather god was having a giggle :)

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  3. Hi Mark, oooaaah poor agaves! It is amazing how much damage the hail did to the leaves. But at least the good news is that they will grow out of it...
    My husband and I are just contemplating to come to the UK again this year, but hail in May doesn't sound very inviting, though....
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. It was the odd occasion Christina, hopefully there won't be any more. Just glad that it wasn't that strong nor they were that big, we had a bad one a few years ago and the garden was shredded...no more please!

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  4. Wow, who knew you had such weather powers? Hail is certainly destructive, especially on the soft succulents.

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    1. Indeed Loree, we had a bad one many years ago and it was heartbreaking to see the garden shredded.

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  5. Suicidal agaves are a new one for me! Did you keep the bottom half (the stump with the roots) of the chopped agave? 2 for 1!

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    1. I did Amy :) looking forward to seeing the stump sprout some new agaves

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  6. I think you just gave me a topic to blog too, in my case it is with the hoya and the goat! Kidding aside, if you turn the agave 2X/week to 1 direction each time just to equalize its sensitivity to the brightest light, do you think it will still lean? The leaning most probably points to the most light direction, it is also possible to turn it 180 degrees weekly. Try it and let us know what happens to the leaning. Otherwise put a stake, hehe.

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    1. That's possible Andrea, only thing is its easy to lose track of doing it when there's lots to do in the garden :) also it's their inclination to lean and creep out when grown on the ground

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  7. You'll have to figure out which Agave to repot in order to bring wonderful sunny days. (Once you have a record of repotting which Agaves causes what, you'll have the "Harry RePotter" spellbook. :D

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  8. Aha, so that was you that caused that sudden out of nowhere hail storm! Can't quite remember when it was - last Tuesday? Trying to recall if it was part of the heavy downpours that hit Chelsea on Tuesday of last week. Anyway, glad you were at Chelsea same day as me, no chance of hailstorms then!

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    1. Shame we didn't get to see you there Caro, we are overdue a catch up! :)

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  9. you will have to give us notice in future, so we can prepare lol!!

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  10. Jumping agaves and hail-inducing plant practices. Perhaps you're a wizard and don't know it.

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    1. Haha wouldn't that be nice Peter :)

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  11. Change that to a rain dance and you could find yourself much in demand. The hail damage doesn't look too bad...kinda like a new, speckled variety.

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    1. That'll be good if I do discover something that cosmically induces rain Rickii :)

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  12. Hail? Here that is something that often accompanies tornados! Definitely weird that this happened to you two years in a row; perhaps you should keep them inside for a week or so after repotting!

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  13. Ouuuch! Wind always arrives on cue as soon as I plant my climbing French beans at the allotment.

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