Century Plants: Born to die?

Published 8:21 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Those who live on a main or much traveled street, just might not want to plant an Agave Americana garden. Those who do will have to contend with rubberneckers, both slow moving to not moving at all.

Agave Americanas (a.k.a.) are making themselves known in and round Pike County and are attracting legions of people who want a closer look.

Lloyd Thomsen, who lives on a well-traveled street in Brundidge, didn’t plant a Century Plant in his front yard. He didn’t even know anything about such a plant when he moved there several years ago.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I’ve been told that it’s a “century plant” because it blooms every 100 years and then it dies,” Thomsen said. “But, others have said the Century Plant lives only about 30 years and, when they bloom, they die. I don’t think this plant has been here 100 years. I’ll have to wait to see if it dies after it blooms.”

An interesting note to the “interest in” the Century Plant is that, the plant lives only 10 to 30 years and has a spread of 6-10 feet, five-foot gray-green leaves with a heavy spike at the tip, then Century Plants would make an interesting garden conversation plant.

When the Century Plant does bloom, it shoots up a 30-40-foot branched stalk adorned with yellow blossoms. Agave Americana gardens can be colorfully interesting and are self-sufficient.

Thomsen has only seen the Century Plant in bloom once and that’s this year.

“I’ve enjoyed watching it bloom. Now, I’ll be interested to see what happens next.”

Thomsen said he didn’t plant the Century Plant but, it has been interesting to watch it grow and to see it bloom,” he said. “But, even 30 years is a long time to have to wait to see a flower bloom.”