Mangave (man-GAH-vey) is a relatively recent cross of Manfreda and Agave and the results are truly the best of both worlds. This unique group of plants is shaped like a traditional Agave, but it bears red to purple spots, has gentle, easy to handle leaves, and grows about twice as fast. Gardeners looking for large, exotic plants with out of this world colors will love discovering these new, rare cultivars.
- Light: Mangave can tolerate partial shade, but the more sun they get, the more colorful their speckles will be. Protect from afternoon sun when temperatures exceed 85F. It is truly an outdoor plant but can tolerate short spells indoors on sunny sills and under grow lights if necessary.
- Soil: Aim to use a gritty, well-draining cactus/succulent soil or amend your soil with 50% mineral grit e.g. coarse sand, perlite, or pumice. Mangave are not heavy feeders and can thrive even in lean, nutrient poor soil. If planting in containers, try to select pots with drainage holes.
- Water: Mangave can handle a bit more regular watering without being at risk of rot, especially when they are establishing roots. If left dry too long, they can go dormant, so aim to water deeply when the soil is dry.
- Hardiness: Most are hardy to Zone 8 or 9 and can tolerate only short, light frosts. Consult each cultivar’s Product Details for its specific hardiness. Potted Mangavecan overwinter indoors near a sunny window or under a grow light. (What’s my zone?)
- Propagation: As the plant grows it can produce new rosette offsets or “pups” around its base. Leave the pups to root and cluster or gently pull them off and transplant them elsewhere.