Everyone has their favorite plant. It might be that delicate String of Pearls that trails gracefully from its indoor perch, the groundcover that provides a bright green fairy garden “lawn,” or the miniature tree that has been given careful care and attention. When you think of your favorite plant, what comes to mind? Usually these are the plants that have been residents of our fairy gardens or homes for many months or years. I have a sensitive plant that is very close to my heart, as I have managed to keep it alive and thriving far longer than I expected! |
Despite having a robust collection of miniature plants, trees, and flowers that I know I can always count on to grow beautifully in my garden and containers, I’m always trying to scratch that “itch” for a fresh plant and find my new favorite. This month, I am in luck. It does not get much newer or more exciting than the Mangave! This plant, a rare hybrid, is an intergeneric hybrid. Mangave is a cross between the genus Manfreda and Agave. Historically, Manfreda have been prized for their interesting patterns, spots, and colors. Agave plants tend to be stronger, more durable, and possessing beautiful, more architectural forms.
To put it simply, Mangave is the best of both worlds. These new varieties combine the best characteristics of Manfreda and Agave. You can expect your Mangave plants to be extremely fast growers, filling up containers or garden plots much faster than a regular Agave plant. And when you do decide to transplant or pot your new plants, you can do so without worrying about sharp spines. Mangave are softer and less likely to scratch up your hands and arms.
My favorite thing about the Mangave? It offers shapes, colors, and patterns that are totally unique. Given the chance, I would pot a few to ad to my garden entrance, patio, and porch. A smaller plant could also function very well as the centerpiece of my fairy garden. The leaves of some varieties have a cascading growth habit that would be just thing for garden fairies to lounge under or slide down when I am not looking! A fairy cottage could be hidden underneath, shaded among the leaves.
If you like to have a bit of fun in the garden, Mangave can also provide some comic relief. The Bad Hair Day variety is especially popular, in part because it is one of the hardiest. Plant it in a character container, and narrow, lime-green leaves will grow in an arching habit that resembles a full head of hair. These soft, flexible leaves will put on a show as hair for your character, giving garden visitors a smile!
How to Grow Mangavé
The Mangave is known as a tender perennial or “temperennial” succulent. These plants need plenty of natural light, so be sure to grow them in full sun. Extended natural light will bring out the deepest colors and patterns, while low light will cause fading. Consider planting your new Mangave in a large pot on a sunny patio, or in a garden bed where it will receive many hours of full sun each day. The bigger Mangaves can fill large pots on their own, while smaller varieties can be planted with other succulents to create combination containers and beds.
Native to the alpine and desert environments of the southeastern United States and South America, Mangave are drought tolerant. But compared to other succulents, Mangave can tolerate a bit more water. When given too much, they will rot. When under-watered, they will not grow. So gardeners will want to provide just enough. With a little care and attention, the Mangave is sure to become your new favorite plant, just as it has become mine. Happy Gardening!
Miniature Gardening' offers miniature houses, accessories, fairies, garden tools & dollhouse furniture to create enchanting miniature landscapes for containers or your yard. Story telling and imaginary fairy garden from 'Miniature Gardening' bring the playful kid out in all of us. Filled with intrigue and mystique each little miniature gardens scene you create is a snapshot of such a dream.
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