Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
A number of new agaves and other succulents can be found this growing season at the usual sources. Here are details on some of the more tender species that can be grown outdoors in warm climates and as indoor/greenhouse plants elsewhere.
Agave Meat Claw
This ferocious looking variety remotely resembles some cacti. Meat Claw forms a tight, compact rosette that is two feet or less in height. It is suitable for growing in pots.
Hardy to zone seven, this has grayish-blue, broadly oval shaped foliage with long vicious spines along the margins. Tapering to a sharp point, the leaves are tipped with a long spine. This variety is most suited to hot, dry climates as it doesn’t respond well to high humidity.
Agave Royal Spine
Hardy to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, this variety is suitable for small gardens. It is only 1˝ feet in height with a slightly larger spread. This has a classically shaped rosette.
The rosette is made up of plump, short leaves with smooth margins. The tip has a long, dark spine for which this variety is named. The foliage is deep green. This variety is suitable for container gardens.
Birdsnest Snake Plants
There is a new Birdsnest Collection of very dwarf snake plants or Sanseverias. This series is widely available in garden centers and nurseries. All of the plants are compact like the original birdsnest snake plants.
The collection includes five or so varieties with additional new ones slated for release later in the year. There are several highly variegated ones, several of which have colorful contrasting margins on the leaves.
There are also ones with solid colored foliage, including one with leaves that are almost black. These are especially suitable for indoor gardening, particularly indoor light gardens. In addition, they could be grown outdoors year-round in warm climates. Mix and match these delightful plants with other succulents for mixed container gardens indoors or outdoors.