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Butterfly Agave (Agave potatorum) - 6 inch potted plant

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1 potted Butterfly Agave (Agave potatorum) 
Description and Planting Instructions
Scientific Name: Agave potatorum
Common Names: Butterfly Agave, Verschaffelt Agave
Family: Asparagaceae
Origin: Native to Mexico, particularly the states of Puebla and Oaxaca
Appearance: The Butterfly Agave is a small to medium-sized agave known for its attractive, symmetrical rosette of broad, gray-green to blue-green leaves with wavy edges. The leaves are edged with reddish-brown teeth and end in a sharp terminal spine. The rosette can grow up to 1-2 feet (30-60 cm) in diameter and height. This agave may produce a tall flowering stalk with yellow-green flowers, although it typically takes many years to bloom.
Planting Instructions
1. Choosing the Right Location
Temperature: The Butterfly Agave prefers warm temperatures and can tolerate light frost. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 9-11.
Sunlight: This plant requires full sun to partial shade. It does best with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
Type: Use well-draining soil, such as a cactus or succulent mix. If planting in the ground, ensure the soil is sandy or gritty to promote good drainage.
pH: The optimal soil pH is slightly acidic to neutral, between 6.0 and 7.5.
2. Preparing the Planting Site
Pot Selection: Choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from sitting in the soil, which can cause root rot.
Soil Preparation: Fill the pot with the well-draining soil mix, leaving enough room to place the agave.
Garden Bed:
Location: Select a sunny spot with well-draining soil.
Soil Preparation: Amend the soil with sand or grit to improve drainage if necessary.
3. Planting the Butterfly Agave
Season: Planting is best done in the spring or early summer when the agave is actively growing.
Removing from Container: Carefully remove the agave from its current container, being mindful of the sharp spines. Using gloves can help protect your hands.
Placement: Place the agave in the new pot or garden bed at the same depth it was previously growing.
Backfilling: Fill in around the agave with soil mix, gently firming it down to support the plant.
4. Watering
Frequency: Water the Butterfly Agave thoroughly, but allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot.
Method: Water at the base of the plant to avoid getting water on the leaves, which can cause rot.
5. Light and Temperature
Indoors: Place the agave in a south or west-facing window where it can receive bright, direct sunlight.
Outdoors: If grown outdoors, ensure it is in a location with plenty of sunlight but some protection from the harsh midday sun to prevent scorching.
6. Fertilizing
Type: Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength.
Frequency: Fertilize once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Do not fertilize during the winter when the agave is dormant.
7. Pest and Disease Management
Pests: Watch for common pests such as mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. Treat infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Diseases: Ensure good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases. If necessary, apply fungicides labeled for use on agaves.
8. Repotting
Frequency: Repot the Butterfly Agave every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and accommodate growth.
Timing: Repot in the spring, just before the growing season begins.
9. Propagation
Offsets: The Butterfly Agave produces offsets (pups) around the base of the main plant. These can be removed and potted separately to grow new plants.
Method: Allow the offsets to dry for a day or two after removal to callus over, then plant them in a well-draining soil mix.
Additional Tips
Winter Care: Reduce watering in the winter months when the agave is dormant. Protect it from frost if grown outdoors in cooler climates.
Handling: Be careful when handling the agave due to its sharp spines. Using gloves or tools can help prevent injury.
Growth Habit: This agave is slow-growing but can become quite striking over time. Ensure it has enough space to grow and show off its symmetrical rosette.
With proper care and attention to its specific needs, the Butterfly Agave can be a stunning and low-maintenance addition to your plant collection.

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