New plant Mangaves’ popularity grows

Greg Stevens

Pretty much just one particular year ago, this column featured Mangaves, new succulent crops for the garden. Mangaves are new plants simply because they are crosses involving two effectively-recognized Mexican plant genera: Agave and Manfreda.

Today’s column revisits the Mangaves for two good reasons. First, the Cactus & Succulent Society of America just lately revealed a thorough overview of the origin of this hybrid plant and an overview of the development of new cultivars.

Second, we can observe the previous year’s advancement and update ideal care for these vegetation.

The CSSA report, “Magnificant Magaves,” appears in the Summer 2022 problem of the Cactus and Succulent Journal. This quarterly publication is not out there on the web, so we’ll deliver highlights from the short article.

The article’s author, Tony Avent, and his wife Anita are the homeowners of the extraordinary Juniper Level Botanic Backyard garden and Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, North Carolina. They have gifted this amazing job to North Carolin State University, to be linked to the current JC Raulston Arboretum. The Avents and NCSU are functioning to ensure the ongoing procedure of this unique resource.

Tony Avent is an fantastic plantsman. I experienced an possibility to take a look at his 10-acre Plant Delights Nursery several decades ago, as a aspect journey throughout journey for other reasons. The beautiful variety of the plant assortment is a extended-held memory and supports Yard Style magazine’s recognition of Plant Delights as a single of the best 7 on the net plant nurseries in the United States. Stop by the Nursery on-line at

In his short article, Avent notes the 2003 discovery of a normal cross of Agave and a Manfreda, explained as a bi-generic hybrid. This mixture created a new range that was later named ‘Macho Mocha’.

Avent then traces the work of numerous American hybridizers who crossed selected species of Manfreda and Agave vegetation to produce a variety of new cultivars. Hybridizers who were specially successful consist of Hans Hansen, who launched a lot of new Mangaves from Walters Gardens in Michigan.

Hybridizers in other nations quickly joined the exploration of this bi-generic hybrid. Just one early case in point by an not known breeder in Southeast Asia is Mangave ‘Bloodspot’, a hybrid of A. macroacantha and M. maculosa. This is a smaller plant, compared to the standard Mangaves, which expand two ft broad. (By comparison, some Agaves can access 7 ft substantial and fourteen ft vast.)

Succulent gardeners have welcomed Mangaves since they have eye-catching colors and designs, lack spines, flower after only two or three many years of development, and, though they die following flowering, make new generations of offsets. They increase greatest in entire sun, which supports the coloration.

One draw back of Mangaves is their comparatively delicate leaves which helps make them susceptible to snails. The good news is, Mangaves are well suited to containers, which generally discourage snails, and gardeners have obtain to Snarol, an helpful non-poisonous snail bait.

Avent reports that “the proverbial flood gates opened for this new genus of succulents, which are now staying gobbled up around the world as speedy as production will make it possible for.” He also states, that Mangaves “are speedily turning into landscape staples in non-frosting climates’ which incorporates a lot of California and other parts of the entire world.

Foreseeable future growth of these vegetation, Avent predicts, will produce additional wintertime hardy picks. He lists many cultivars that will endure in Haridness Zones 7 and 8, which are colder than the Monterey Bay area’s Zone 9.

For Monterey Bay place gardeners, the growing quantity of winter hardy Mangaves usually means that the industry for these vegetation will boost bigger and more quickly than it currently is growing, and hybridizers will reply to market demand by developing more cultivars.

If you take pleasure in Mangaves in your backyard garden, you now have obtain to multiple options and can foresee owning a lot of additional versions of this plant in the future. They are progressively readily available in community backyard garden centers. Broader selections can be discovered at Plant Delights Nursery (mentioned higher than),, and

Progress your knowledge

The Plant Delights Nursery has a properly-stocked selection of small online video shows on chosen factors of gardening. I have only set a time t o start off finding out from these video clips, with self esteem that they will be solidly based on horticultural know-how and nicely worth the viewing time.  There are as well lots of titles to listing in this article, but they are readily available for no cost viewing at

The Ruth Bancroft Back garden has announced a collection of webinars for June. The adhering to descriptions are from the RBG site (flippantly edited for this column).

“Essential Trees & Palms in Dry Gardens,” 10 a.m. June 11. When preparing or planting a back garden the very first thing to look at are the large-scale crops this sort of as trees and palms. Tree and palm assortment sets the tone for the whole layout and will help determine all the other plantings. This lecture will take into consideration how to decide on a tree/palm for both of those aesthetics and nearby disorders and evaluation a broad selection of normally accessible drought-tolerant trees and palms. Brian Kemble, Curator, will feature crops from the Ruth Bancroft Garden plant selection, and Landscape Designer Cricket Riley will talk about how to incorporate trees and palms into a dry backyard garden style and design.

“Materiality in Gardens: Structure & Environmental Stewardship,” 10 a.m. June 15. Landscape Architect Jennifer de Graaf will discuss the sustainable options you can make when picking and utilizing recycled components in your back garden. Concentrating on the non-plant features in backyard design and style, she will talk about how the options we make for our out of doors spaces have farther-reaching implications. What do you need to have to take into account when removing or modifying the paths, furnishings, and so on.? We will communicate through a assumed route for these choices and how to pick a product that is appropriate for your software. The goal is to be mindful of the lifecycle of a item or product, its environmental interactions and longevity, and the methods a recycled materials may perhaps or may possibly not offer the aesthetic preferred. Recycled resources can go from searching haphazard to intentional.

“Proteaceae & Buddies (2-portion series): 10 a.m. June 18 and June 25. Troy McGregor, proprietor of Gondwana Flora and Waltzing Matilija, will go over vegetation in the Proteaceae family (e.g., Protea, Leucadendron, Leucospermum, and Grevillea). For the June 18th lecture “Proteaceae & Friends – Overview”, Troy will concentration on the tried out & correct performers, a couple new releases, and some rarities that have excelled at the Ruth Bancroft Backyard garden.

For the June 25th lecture, “Proteaceae & Buddies – Treatment & Upkeep,” McGregor will guidebook you on very best planting tactics, pruning recommendations, fertilizer amendments, and soil/drinking water prerequisites for these Australian and South African vegetation.

Mitigating Hearth Risks Via Backyard garden Style & Servicing (2-aspect series), 10 a.m. June 22 and June 29. Many California inhabitants are bracing for a different season of catastrophic wildfires this summer season. With climate change and shifts in land administration, the intensity and frequent event of wildfires will be unavoidable in our environment. The selections that we make in our individual gardens can make a larger affect than most people today realize. Join Landscape Architect Jennifer de Graaf for this two-section sequence about how a multi-faceted, interconnected lifetime of conclusions in your landscape can assistance mitigate your dangers vs . hearth.

To sign up for these cost-centered displays, pay a visit to

Take pleasure in your backyard!

Tom Karwin is previous president of Mates of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and the Monterey Bay Iris Modern society, a Life time Member of the Monterey Bay Space Cactus & Succulent Society, and a Life time UC Grasp Gardener (Accredited 1999–2009). He is now a board member of the Santa Cruz Hostel Society, and energetic with the Pacific Horticultural Modern society. 

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