8 Golden Rules for Watering an Agave Plant

The hardy agave plant is among the most versatile of all succulents, suited for either indoors or outdoors. However, most people make a few mistakes when caring for it. I've put together 8 golden rules for watering this special plant here, and if you follow them, your agave will thrive.
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Agave plants don’t just look tough. They withstand most types of extreme weather, from windstorms to heatwaves; so follow rules when Watering an Agave Plant. An agave plant grows anywhere and does well, even during colder or hot temperatures. So, what is the best solution? Follow the below rules when Watering an Agave Plant.

An agave plant can grow in neglect. The 8 Rules for Watering an Agave Plant highlighted in this article will help you understand what the plant needs. An agave plant in a container requires more frequent watering than those in the ground. It is an adaptable plant, and the rules that apply in one area may not work in another. 

This article is essential as it cuts across most species of the agave plant.

1. Stop Watering an Agave Plant Frequently

Don’t put an agave plant on the same irrigation cycle as other plants on your landscape. The plant does not like frequent watering as you would do with fruits or other flowers. Agaves plants will even require little attention to thrive than the other plants.

Water the Agave plant 4-5 days for the first two months after being planted. After the plant is well established, agaves need to be watered 2-3 times a month. It varies depending on the season, as discussed later in the article. Watering them less frequently causes the water to dry out and start using the stored internal water.

After the Agave plant is well established, you should water it 2-3 times a month.

Most agave plant species adapt to arid conditions and do well at home if subjected to the same conditions. Watering the plant less frequently ensures that the plant is not overwatered.  Immersing the Agave plant in the water attracts root rot.

During watering, the plant needs plenty of water immediately, and then no water for a long time. The plant does not flourish under small sips of water. Taking in a lot of water at once then experiencing a prolonged drought makes the plant happy.

2. Maintain Watering an Agave Plant Early in the Morning

Water your Agave plant in the morning when it’s cool and the sun less intense. Morning time allows the water to run down the soil and reach the plant’s roots without loss to evaporation. Watering an Agave Plant in the morning ensures the water is available to the plant throughout the day. The plant manages the rising temperatures in the day.

Watering an Agave Plant early is preferred as the plant can dry out before the sun goes down. Watering in the afternoon makes the plant water evaporate instead of absorbing into the roots. On the other hand, soaking it in the evening may have water sitting for too long. It is a recipe for fungal growth.

Due to the low rate of evaporation in the morning, the soil can maintain moisture for a long time. It gives the plant enough time to absorb water. As the sun rises, excess water evaporates, making it a natural way of avoiding overwatering the plant.

3. Water the Plant in Soil that Dries Slowly but Drains Quickly

Planting an agave plant in a container does not only qualify the plant as a houseplant, but it is also suitable for watering. In a container, the plant needs soil that drains quickly but dries slowly. For outdoor containers, you can make a good soil mixture by taking equal parts of compost; garden soil or potting mix; and either coarse sand, pumice, or gravel. In most of the agave species, peat moss is undesirable for growing the plant.

You should plant your Agave in a potting mix that dries slowly but drains quickly.

You can use a potting mix combined with coarse sand, pumice, and gravel for indoor-grown agave. Regardless of where you plant the agave, make sure that the clown of the agave plant is above the soil line. If the clown is below the soil, watering will cause the plant to have crown rot, an infection detrimental to agave plants.

4. Never Do Overhead Watering.

Agave plants should never be watered overhead. A slow trickle of water right at the root zone can prevent the water from flashing into the leaves, which may lead to the spread of fungal spores. It will also prevent the crown rot if water pools up in the crown of the plant. When the plant is watered overhead, in extreme cases, the leaves may entirely turn gray or black and shrivel right from where they grow out of the clown. Red fungal spores may be visible near the plant’s base.

You should avoid watering your Agave plant overhead.

It is essential to regularly inspect the plant for any sign of rot, significantly if not growing in optimal conditions. If the rot is caught early, the rot can be controlled with selective pruning and fungicides treatment. If the rot is extreme, it may be necessary to dig out the whole plant, remove all the soils from the roots, prune all the decay and replant it in a new location and with new watering habits.

5. Mind the Seasons When Watering an Agave Plant

Mature agave plants are very drought tolerant. However, when watering the plant, climatic seasons are crucial to determining how to water the plant. In different seasons of the year, the plant growth rate is different, and so is the water uptake by the plant.

Agave plant growth occurs mainly during spring and fall. The plant needs to be watered thoroughly when the soil is dry. The plant should be watered sparingly about once a month during the winter climate, where growth is somehow reduced.

Watering more often during the winter season keeps the plant moist which encourages fungal root rot. During the summer season, the plant requires more water as the rate of evaporation is high. The plants at this climactic season should be often checked and watered more often to avoid drying out.  

6. Don’t Set a Watering Schedule

One of the major mistakes most gardeners make is sticking to an exact schedule for watering, so don’t do this for succulent plants like agave plants. Watering precisely on the same day every time will do more harm to the plant than good. For agave plants, don’t water when the surface of the soil is dry, but 2-inches deep in the soil is proper. Remember that you can always determine this by just dipping your finger.

Instead of setting a fixed watering schedule, water your Agave once the soil is dry.

7. How much Water is too much?

Different agave plant species want a varying amount of water. Plant size will determine the amount of water the plant requires. In lesser pots that hold less soil, soil tends to dry out faster than the soil in a bigger pot that has more soil.

If you planted your agave plant in a large pot, it will need more water than in a small pot. If the plant is more prominent, on the other hand, it will also require more water than a small plant. Plant age also determines how much is too much.

Watering a Young Agave Plant

For a young growing plant, watering it frequently is essential for growth. For this plant, do a semi-soak which involves placing the potted plant in a tray with soil and pouring water over until the tray is 1/4 of an inch of water. Allow the plant to sit in the tray for 8 hours before draining the water.

 The old plant has well adapted to the dry conditions. The plant may not require frequent watering. When Watering an Agave Plant that is young, pour the water and allow it to sink in. Repeat the process until it is drenched. Let the plant dry thoroughly before watering again. 

8. Identify Signs of UnderWatering

Agave plants will not put on too much demand on water. After leaving the plant for a long time, it will still be healthy, but the plant may show some signs that it is thirsty. Underwatering the plant will affect the absorption of minerals in the plant, which is why it needs to be taken care of.

When the plant is underwatered for long, the leaves will start to wilt. As the plants’ water storage continues to run down, the plant begins to have wrinkling and weak leaves. The more severe the deprivation, the more the plant starts to look limp and withered.

You will also notice dried-up brown leaves and dead leaves which start at the bottom of the plant. As it starts to lose its water stored water, the underside of the leaves starts to dry out. Sometimes the plant might start dropping off leaves to conserve energy and water for survival.

Leaves may look flat and feels soft when touched because they will have lost their plumpness and firmness. The best thing is that it is easy to treat an underwatered agave plant than an overwatered one. After a good watering or two, the plant will perk up.

Bottom Line

When treating water problems, the worst you can do is to panic and start Watering an Agave Plant using excessive water and too often which is wrong. If you are unsure if your plant is parched before watering, it is better to wait for an extra day because treating Underwatered is easier than overwatered plants. Agave plant water requirements are the easiest because the plant is excellent resistant and can do well in neglect.

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