OK, OK, this plant obviously is not native in my state. In fact, Agave utahensis is only native in two U.S. states: Arizona and Utah. I'm highlighting it this month because it seems to be surviving the harsh elements of my climate quite well, planted in a pot with a grouping of other cold-hardy succulents. To read more about how my microclimate experiment started, click here.
Time will tell if this Agave, and it's companion succulents, will survive a USDA zone 5 winter--on a covered screened porch, out of the direct wind, away from the ice and snow and rain. I'm planning to neglect these plants until about March. That's what most sources tell me to do--put them in a protected place and don't water them until spring.
The three Cactuses in the pots have shriveled to a fraction of their size during the summer, which I've read is entirely normal for cold-hardy Cactuses in winter. The Sempervivums seem just fine. And this Agave looks pretty much like it did in August. (The photos here were taken during the summer, but believe me, it looks the same. Well, maybe slightly larger because it grew some additional leaves). This is amazing to me, since we've had several days and nights below 0F (-18C).
I hadn't even planned to try an Agave, but I was intrigued by the description at coldhardycactus.com, where I purchased it. According to the vendor, this particular Agave is an excellent addition to a rock garden. It likely will only grow to 8 inches tall and wide, and it's hardy to zone 5. Perfect for my little potted rock garden.
I adore the size, the color, the form, and just about everything about this Agave, which in my garden will remain a potted, outdoor plant. Frankly, I'm smitten.
Coming soon: The Garden Lessons Learned wrap-up. Please share a post or your thoughts about lessons you've learned during the past few months. To join in, click here to leave a comment with a link to your post. Thanks!