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Author Topic: Agave tequiliana  (Read 644 times)

Future

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Agave tequiliana
« on: April 11, 2017, 11:24:32 PM »
I have a number of agave plants and noticed the first bloom spoke ever this week.  It s huge.  Took nearly 7 years.   Is any one else growing these? 

I seem to recall reading about chopping the bloom spike off - if the plant's spikes don't chop me first - to get they plant to live on and 'fruit'.

Anyone?

BajaJohn

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Re: Agave tequiliana
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 01:53:38 AM »
I don't have blue agaves but have other varieties. None have flowered yet but they are native here and I see flowers regularly in the wild.  There seems to be a general consensus that cutting off the bloom stalk will not save the agave. The changes that trigger blooming also lead to death of the plant. The flowers are usually spectacular too, so you're depriving yourself of a treat - plus you can eat the flowers. I haven't seen any mention of edible agave fruit.
If you've taken good care of your agave it should be surrounded by baby agave that have grown up from the roots of the mother plant. Just dig these up and plant them wherever you want a new agave. They grow very quickly in rich soil with regular watering. The baby americanas and angustifolias I weaned off their mum 2 years ago are now about 40 cm across and producing babies of their own.
You can cut off the needle-sharp dried leaf tips to avoid getting speared by them. The leaves do quite well without them.
You can eat much of the agave too (http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/articles/detail/agave).
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 01:56:16 AM by BajaJohn »

Future

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Re: Agave tequiliana
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2017, 11:24:47 AM »
I don't have blue agaves but have other varieties. None have flowered yet but they are native here and I see flowers regularly in the wild.  There seems to be a general consensus that cutting off the bloom stalk will not save the agave. The changes that trigger blooming also lead to death of the plant. The flowers are usually spectacular too, so you're depriving yourself of a treat - plus you can eat the flowers. I haven't seen any mention of edible agave fruit.
If you've taken good care of your agave it should be surrounded by baby agave that have grown up from the roots of the mother plant. Just dig these up and plant them wherever you want a new agave. They grow very quickly in rich soil with regular watering. The baby americanas and angustifolias I weaned off their mum 2 years ago are now about 40 cm across and producing babies of their own.
You can cut off the needle-sharp dried leaf tips to avoid getting speared by them. The leaves do quite well without them.
You can eat much of the agave too (http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/articles/detail/agave).


Thanks BajaJohn.  Here is the reference I found.

"The quiotes start to appear in years five and six, and grow rapidly. A quiote can grow a meter a week, and if not cut down, after the third week they will start to extend lateral arms which will fill with flowers. Farmers send field hands through the agaves to cut down quiotes every two weeks or less, to be sure they don't grow too large and take away some of the plant's nutrients and sugars.
 
Cutting the quiote encourages the cabeza, or head, to fatten and grow richer with sugars. It also encourages the production of shoots. It will usually be harvested for tequila from six to 12 months after the quiote is cut."

" The piņa is ripe when it starts to shrink and develops a maroon tinge, and red spots appear on the leaves."

"Another indicator of ripeness is when shoots start to appear on the remnant of the quiote stalk."

http://www.blueagaveforum.com/tequila/harvesting.htm


BajaJohn

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Re: Agave tequiliana
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2017, 01:59:43 AM »
Hi Future.

There are quite a few references to cutting the flower heads on blue agaves. Here is another - http://www.alcademics.com/2012/09/a-few-things-learned-in-the-agave-fields-in-mexico.html and this one in Spanish if you wish to translate - http://www.acamextequila.com.mx/2016/el-agave.html.
Most suggest that the farmers raising agaves for fermentation (tequila and mezcal) remove the flower stalks (desquiote) to avoid depletion of the stored sugars which are the energy source for the growing quiote (and also the source of sugar for fermentation). There is no mention of prolonging the life of the agave. They also note that propagation is done by collecting the young shoots (hijuelos) that grow around the mother plant.
The first link also refers to cutting the sharp tips off the leaves to avoid injuries.

These are blue agaves in a friend's garden.


And a few quiotes from other types of agaves.


This one had young plants sprouting from the roots of the dying mother plant.


And this one was about 15 feet high, with the tallest part of the flower showing above the bougainvillea flowers.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2017, 02:19:26 AM by BajaJohn »

Future

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Re: Agave tequiliana
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2017, 09:23:12 PM »
You are right.  I had comingled details of death and the central part that accumulates the agave.  I will cut my stalk this week.  6-12 months then I'll need to figure how to harvest, extract.

Future

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Re: Agave tequiliana
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 06:36:04 PM »
The deed is done without a scar on me.  It was a lot heavier than I expected.  Tough.

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spaugh

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Re: Agave tequiliana
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 07:28:41 PM »
I have a number of agave plants and noticed the first bloom spoke ever this week.  It s huge.  Took nearly 7 years.   Is any one else growing these? 

I seem to recall reading about chopping the bloom spike off - if the plant's spikes don't chop me first - to get they plant to live on and 'fruit'.

Anyone?

I am growing several species of agave and also hae wild agaves all over my property.  None of them are tequila agaves though.  Those ones are MASSIVE.  I had some blue americanas in my yard that go out of hand and we took them out. 


Future

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Re: Agave tequiliana
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2017, 07:23:59 PM »
I noticed yesterday a side shoot, several feet out from the plant's center (not growing from the main stem).  It isn't clear where it is shooting up from (there are a few plants in proximity and no clear line of sight). Will cut this as well.

 

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