Wednesday, September 25, 2013

x Mangave 'Macho Mocha' gets the favorite plant title this week…

He’s been flirting with being the fav several weeks running and it’s time he got the spotlight.

I’ve grown a couple of x Mangave 'Macho Mocha' in containers and never loved them as much as I did the day I brought them home. Their fleshy leaves are easy to break and they just never looked great. Spring of 2012 I stuck this one in the ground, partially because I needed its container for something else and partially because I was just done with it. I never thought it would live through that winter, but it did. And now, well…it’s gorgeous! (those silver and blue metal uprights are part of my neighbors avant-garde fence)

San Marcos Growers reports “Plants remain solitary until flowering at which time several new plants will emerge from below the older rosette.” That’s not been the case with this plant; he’s got quite a few small plants clustered around his base and yet he's never flowered.

My favorite plant lust description has to be the one from Plant Delights Nursery: “Oh, my! On a plant exploration trip into Mexico, Carl Schoenfeld collected seed from a plant of Manfreda variegata. Only when the seedlings were grown was it realized that it had crossed in the wild with a nearby plant of Agave celsii, resulting in the very first xMangave. Each surreal-looking, 3' wide clump of thick, rubbery, glaucous foliage is so covered with iron-red spots that the clump looks red. Established clumps are topped in late spring with thick 8' tall flower spikes...a hummingbird's wet dream. We have had this survive 9 °F, but in areas with wet cold winters, grow xMangave 'Macho Mocha' as a container plant. Stunning!

I also have to share this one liner from Secret Garden Growers: “Manfreda x Agave had relations and produced this bold beauty with the best traits of both parents!

Some of the nursery descriptions credit sun for upping the quantity of purple spots, for me they seem much more pronounced with cooler weather, which it seems we’ll have plenty of now that autumn has officially arrived.

The stats:
  • winter hardy to about 10F (USDA Zone 8), of course good drainage is key
  • drought tolerant, but does like some summer water
  • prefers sun
  • it’s flowers are white hummingbird attractors that top a 4-6ft tall stalk
  • eventual width 2-3ft (mine is currently 3ft x 3 ft)

Please share your favorite plant this week in the comments below!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

32 comments:

  1. Your Macho Mocha looks big and pristine, well deserved of the highlight. Ours gets devoured by slugs every time I take it out of the greenhouse...

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    1. I think because of it's location (lots of hot dry spaces around it) there aren't many slugs to around much, thank goodness!

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  2. That is a stunning group of plants. Apart from being slug magnets, like you I have never managed to figure out how to grow them in a pot. Maybe root space is the the way forward. It definitely worked for yours! I have been hearing good reports about them being hardier than expected so may try one in the cold frame this year.

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    1. I'll be curious to see how this one performs through the winter of 2013/14...oh what will it hold!?

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  3. Looks great. I'll be needing one--in the next garden--which I guess is how I'm consoling myself about lack of new plants here...

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    1. "the next garden"...it does sound a little exciting when you say it like that...

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  4. He's awfully pretty for such a macho guy. He's beautiful!

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    1. Hey who you callin' a pretty boy?

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  5. I've always wanted to one. Never found one at a price I was willing to pay. But hopefully soon!

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    1. This one actually came from Succulent Gardens, via my friend JJ...maybe yours is just ahead at the "extravaganza"...

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  6. What can I say... I always like your favorite plants. Many of them are impossible to find here but it´s awesome to see them in your blog.

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    1. And that's why they call it "plant lust"...I know, I feel it too...

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  7. I like this plant a lot, yours looks gorgeous. I agree that sun bleaches the foliage and the spots. Mine always looks better and redder in fall and spring.

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    1. Our sun has been hiding the last few days, and the upcoming days look just as dreary. I'll be watching for a color change soon.

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  8. My son bought me one for fathers day a year ago. Mine seems to sun burn when in full Kansas Sun. I've kept it in a pot and brought it inside last winter, and it did fine. Not sure if I'm ready to try it outside in my zone 6b garden. I lost an Agave parryi turncata to the cold last winter.(really peed me off too, because it had pups and I only paid $20. for it in a 5 gal pot. ) Your spikeness look grand.

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    1. I remember your losing that agave, your smart to protect your Macho Mocha.

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  9. what an attractive fellow..I wish you luck on the over-wintering issue.Just a few degrees one way or the other , right ?

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    1. Indeed...oh how I wish I could see the weather future.

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  10. That is a beautiful plant! I love the curve of the leaves. I've rarely seen it in nurseries and, on the few occasions I have, the price tag sent me packing but I'm still looking...

    My contribution to this week's favorites came be found here: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-favorite-plant-this-week_25.html

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    1. Me too! It's that curve that really sends me. Can't wait to check out your fav!

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  11. Nice! Thanks for mentioning the actual size (3'x3') as I was having trouble getting a sense of scale from the photos -- even the one with the fence.

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    1. I realized as I was writing the post the photos weren't really telling the whole story. I was kind of shocked though when I measured it!

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  12. Here's hoping for a mild winter! Who cares what they say. Who are they anyway?

    My fave this week is here: http://www.outlawgarden.blogspot.com/2013/09/salvia-clevelandii-alpine-form-my.html

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    1. They are wrong, that's who they are.

      Yay! The salvia...

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  13. I love this plant, finally found one this past summer while out plant-hunting with Peter. I'm going to bring mine in for the winter. I wrote a Favorite Plant post, which you can find here: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-right-now_26.html

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    1. Smart Alison, that's the trouble with giving up on things and sticking them in the ground. Then they start to look really good and you want to save them. Darn tricky plants!

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  14. Interesting plant, I enjoy seeing it and your other prickly plants, I don't think they would make it in my garden which is at a higher altitude and farther from water. My favorite plant pick this week is Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks', my favorite so far of the 6 Goldenrods I am trialling this year.

    http://weedingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2013/09/favorite-plant-of-week-solidago-rugosa.html

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  15. Here's mine Loree..http://gardenbook-ks.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-favorite-this-week.html

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    1. I still can't believe how gorgeous your Ipomea is...

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  16. Wow!!! That is a seriously stunning mangave. They never look that good when I see them so I always pass them by. But you have made me reconsider. I think one might have to come home with me TODAY!

    here's my new fav: http://parallel49palms.blogspot.ca/2013/09/my-weekly-favourite.html

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    1. The dangers of working at a nursery eh?

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    2. Dangerous indeed. Today's haul even includes a gorgeous aechema del mar!

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