Agave (Century Plant) blooming

Q: My sister brought this cactus-looking plant from Columbia SC three years ago. It sprouted something in the middle last week. It gets bigger daily. It’s about 15 feet high now. What is it?

A: Wow, you’re going to have a big surprise!

This is an agave, Agave americana. It is sometimes called the century plant because people once believed it bloomed once every century. This is not correct; plants usually bloom when they are 10 to 20 years old. The flowers are very attractive to pollinating insects.

Sadly for your plant, after blooming this mother plant will die….but small “pups“ will grow at the base of the plant. These can be transplanted or given away.

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