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Copyright © Paul Spracklin

Copyright © Paul Spracklin

Copyright © Paul Spracklin


Agave montana

Hardy Century Plant

The Queen of Agaves, it not only is the most beautiful but the most suitable for growing in climates with cold, wet winters. Native to northeastern Mexico, it grows up to 3500 m (11500 ft.) basically as an understorey plant in pine and oak forests, where the summers are cool and winters hostile. Snow, ice and subzero temperatures are the norm for these high hillsides and this Agave could reasonably be expected to survive -15°C (5°F) even in damp conditions. This is not a desert plant! Agave montana grows as a large, dense, solitary rosette of wide, powdery gray-green leaves with reddish thorny margins and terminal spine. Seeds have only been available in very small quantities since it's discovery about 10 years ago. Our efforts represent the first major seed collection and will hopefully enable this stunning plant to enter into wider cultivation. Our seeds came from the best plants at around 3000 m (10000 ft.) or so.

(read all testimonials here)

germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
100 % germination within approx 3 weeks. Perfect! Surface sowed onto a mix of potting compost, verminculte and perlite. Kept at around 25degrees C in a sunny location.
Submitted on 11/06/2011 by Ben

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
It's a very easy agave to germinate. I have a succerate about 90 %I sown the seed in a mix of sown and germination mould and fine gravel. 3 : 1. It was a succes.
Submitted on 13/03/2011 by Per Aastrup

... are very easy to germinate.
the first time it did take a month to germinate, but the second time I used very fine peat, vermiculite, and pearlite mix, soaked it, and put bottom heat under it and it only took a week. I got about 90% success.I'm not lying.
Submitted on 27/10/2007 by matt mateoteamo74@hotmail.com

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
18 seeds surace sown in grit sand/soil mix. Light cover of sand over seeds. Kept moist. Room temp (18 - 25C). First germinated at 6 days. 8 after 15 days. Total of 10 germinated at 28 days. (1 very pale coloured seedling developed rot at 30 days & was removed.)
Submitted on 22/03/2007 by one of our visitors

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
My first attempt at growing agaves from seed.I placed 4 montana seeds in a pot containing a mixture of 50% multipurpose compost and 50% perlite covered with a plastic bag and placed in the greenhouse, four days later they had sprouted - I have now ordered more from rarepalmseeds - this is easy.
Submitted on 13/07/2006 by Mark Williams mjswilliams@ntlworld.com

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Sowed 50 seeds in a seed tray in a moist mix of 70% soilless potting compost and 30% vermiculite, just covered with a light dusting of compost. Placed the whole tray in a clear plastic bag and left it on a heated floor. 75% germinated within 3-4 weeks and all of the seedlings have survived their first 8 months in a bright, relatively sunless window. They have been thoroughly watered from below every few weeks and then allowed to dry out completely.
Submitted on 19/11/2005 by David Matzdorf in London davidmatzdorf@blueyonder.co.uk

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Estremely easy and reliable. Sown in March on the surface of a seed tray containing a mixture of peat-free soilless potting compost and vermiculite, with a transparent plastic cover. Left on a warm heated floor, resulting in approx. 75% germination in 3 weeks.Six months later, all of the seedlings that germinated are still alive, still growing well and still in the same seed tray - to be potted up next Spring.
Submitted on 09/10/2005 by David Matzdorf (London) davidmatzdorf@blueyonder.co.uk

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I had over 95% germination in about 2 weeks. How i did this whas very easy. Filled a zip-lock bag wit 50 % coarse sand, 10 % peat, 20% perlit, and 20% potting soil. I put this in my tunnel outdoors. de average day temperature whas 25 to 35 c°, at night it dropt between 15 and 18 c°. From the 100 seeds i bought 95 had germinated only trick thing also is keep i slightly moist zo that you can see a mist on the inside of the bag no drops, and keep it from light otherwise the roots starting to go green.
Submitted on 09/08/2005 by jurgen smet jurgen.smet@pandora.be

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I have put 10 seeds of Agave montana in a well drained mixture. 9/10 have germinated in 15 days. Soaking in water is not necessary. The temperature will not go over 25°C and less 15°C.
Submitted on 04/08/2005 by Guillaume Chomicki-Bayada willy89@wanadoo.fr

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Purchased 3 packets of this seed, 80% germinated within 3 weeks at normal room temperature. Like all agave seeds, lay on the surface of free draining compost and cover with a thin layer of either grit (preferred) or sand and keep moist. I sowed this species in a flat container with other species and noted they Montana disliked the humidity more at the moment of germination compared to other species but improved quickly once a drying out session was allowed.
Submitted on 26/03/2005 by one of our visitors

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by writing a germination comment about how to germinate the seeds of this species. Click here!

plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of high ornamental value
In Ravenna in Italy they need very little care and grow normal.
I live in Northern Italy. I had many plants from seeds, they survived in winter at -4°C and in summer at 40° C. They grew better with good drenage. They are still in pots since 2 y.o.
Submitted on 26/03/2008 by one of our visitors

... are of average ornamental value
In Ravenna in Italy they need very little care and grow normal.
The seeds I bought here was all born and from 1 year the little plants live in my terrace in summer with 20° - 40° C and in winter with -5° to 15°C
Submitted on 02/08/2007 by one of our visitors

... are of high ornamental value
In Leiden in The Netherlands they need little care and grow slow.
After 2 weeks all A. Montana seeds germinated in a cool early spring greenhouse atmosphere; the little plants grew relatively slow into warm 2006.The soil was prepared with sandy mineral elements.Next year I will transplant them in more moisty soil and a less sunny position, because I presume this Agave likes cool conditions.
Submitted on 22/12/2006 by one of our visitors

win € 75 worth of seeds
by writing a plant cultivation comment about how to cultivate the plants of this species. Click here!

If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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