Saturday, March 21, 2009

Removing Ginormous Agaves and some New Blooms

I decided to remove the 2 agaves on the side of my house that I really loved this week. They just were getting WAY too big for their location. It pained me to do it, but out they came. You can see one is already gone and one is left, but dug up and ready to be disposed of:

I got these for free when I first moved in and had no idea they would grow so fast! (I didn't know anything about southwest plants, ok?)I knew they would get huge, but thought I would be long gone before that happened. Instead, these things grew like gangbusters - they were just little bitty starts when I got them and now, 5 years later, were over 4 feet tall and wide. I figured I better get them out now while they were managable. Good-bye beautiful, architechtural, ginormous agaves:

Hello new small Hill-Country Native Pale-leaf Yuccas: Yucca Pallida(I bought 2 of these guys to replace the agaves):

And since it rained last week new things are blooming...

The Orchid tree:

It is simply covered in bees and butterflies. I swear the butterflies must sleep in this tree as they spend sun up to sun down on the blooms. Here you can see two monarchs, one in the upper left corner and one in the bottom right:

More butterflies:

Orchid tree blossoms and Yellow Columbine:

The columbine are in full bloom:

So is the Crossvine:

The few Bluebonnets I have are blooming:

Yellow Flax:

The poppies are all starting to bloom:

Corn Poppy:

And a Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth. They look like giant bumblebees:


Iris said...

LOVE the orchid tree! You probably already know about this idea, but I've planted a potted small agave in the ground, pot and all. It seems to have flourished just fine but has stayed rather small, which is what I wanted.

I think I'll try this technique again when I want an agave to stay small-medium sized.


Lee17 said...


Thanks! Yes, I know about that agave-in-the-pot trick now, but not so much when I first moved in and planted those agaves. I think I read about that trick on Pam's blog AFTER I already had the agaves in. Sigh. Oh well. But at least I know for future reference, right?

Anonymous said...

I came across your site after I googled "remove agave plant." I'm desperately trying to remove an agave very close in size to yours, perhaps slightly bigger, that has overtaken my front yard. How did you dig yours up??? Thanks!!


Lee17 said...


I just noticed your post! Did you ever get those agaves out? I lopped off all the spines first so as not to poke out any eyeballs, then I doubled up on leather gloves, put on thick jeans and a thick shirt, put on eye protection, covered the plant with old towels to minimize the scratching, and used a big pick to hack out the roots around it (The roots were actually pretty shallow, so it wasn't too difficult to pry them loose), then used a big shovel to pry it up and push it over and out of the ground. Then I rolled it out of the way. Ta-da :)