And the view from the upper gravel area. From both angles it is such a huge focal point.
But something was wrong. Black patches were beginning to appear deep in the heart of the plant. It could only mean one thing. Rot. The cause could be one of two things. The dreaded agave weevil or poor drainage.
|Agave snout weevil|
There is no easy way to remove such a large agave. First I cut the tips of the leaves. More damaging than the tip spines are the curved spines along the leaf margins. Nothing to be done there. I began by taking the saw and sawing through the more open leaves. That went well and in no time I had the majority cut down. What a ragged mess.
Then I began to notice that my legs were stinging. Of course I was wearing shorts. Then a light went on in my brain. I recalled someone referring to the sap of agaves being highly allergenic. I downed tools, rushed through the house tearing off my clothes an jumped in the pool. Then I got out the hydrocortisone cream. The stinging began to subside. The job ended there because I had to leave for the afternoon. When I came home the stump was removed and the area tidied up. Thank you David. He assured me there was no evidence of weevils and that the ground was surprisingly dry. This damage must have started a long time ago and progressed rapidly with our rainy fall and June.
Quickly moving on; this morning I planted a new Whale's Tongue but added lots of granite and mounded the area tilting the agave to the front so that any water will drain away from the crown.
I hunted for a few rocks to help camouflage the mound and have plans to add some blackfoot daisies to soften the whole area.
And the lesson is to wear long pants, longs sleeves, gloves and goggles when dealing with agaves.