Mangave is a tender perennial or "temperennial" succulent plant. These hybrid plants are relatively new and don't behave like normal succulents. While you can grow and treat them like the average succulent plant, there are differences and benefits to properly grow a Mangave.
There are many ways in which Mangave compare to normal succulents. Both of these plants prefer a well-drained, dry to average soil and should be situated in containers just slightly wider than the width of the rosette. The majority of succulents, Mangave included, are best when situated in full sun or an area with a lot of natural light. However, Mangave can also be planted directly in the ground and add tremendous landscape value.
Mangave are best when grown with a lot of sun. These plants grow best when situated in an area with extended natural light. Artificial or low lighting will cause fading of the bright colors and distinctive spotting. Mangave leaves will regain their spots if moved to an area with more light.
We think of succulents as drought tolerant, but really they are water sensitive. Too much water and they rot away, too little and they don't grow. Enter Mangave. This super-sized succulent is much more water tolerant and grows much quicker because of it. Happy with your Mangave at the size it is? Water it sparingly like a normal succulent to slow it down.
Agave and Manfreda are native from the Southeastern United States through to South America. You will probably never find a Mangave growing in the wild because of how infrequently both Agave and Manfreda flower, making cross pollination unlikely. It is thanks to the collectors and hybridizers of unique plants that this original cross was possible.
With both parents native to alpine and desert areas, this characteristic is ingrained in their succulent DNA.
The zone tolerance varies based on the parent species. Most Mangave van be safely overwintered in zones 9-10, with some doing well up to zone 7b.
Mangave are unlike most succulents who either don't get that big or take a long period of time to fill a container. Their fast growth rate, interesting colors, and architecture allow Mangave to fill large pots and patio containers. Use them in combination with other succulents or to stand alone in a mono pot.
It is best to plant a Mangave in a well drained soil. If a Mangave is allowed to sit wet for too long the roots may begin to rot. Mangave grown in containers should be planted with a succulent or bark soil mix. Sandy or rocky soils are among the best if you are placing your Mangave directly into the ground. If you are worried your soil is too heavy or has too much water, you can try amending the area around your Mangave with a succulent or bark soil mix.
If you have the ability to test for Soil pH or EC and adjust your soil, we recommend targeting a pH of 6.2-6.8 and an EC of 1.0-1.25 using the pour through method.
Although Mangave share many traits with annuals and perennials, we recommend using a fertilizer designated for succulent use and following the instructions on the package. Avoid overfertilizing; extra nutrition is not beneficial to Mangave.
If you do not live in an area where a Mangave will naturally overwinter, you will need to bring it inside to an environment that is kept at 60° F or warmer. You should also place it in an area where it will get as much natural light as possible. If your Mangave is closeted away from a good light source it will begin to stretch and the leaves will lose their substance.
Rabbits and Deer are known to tear apart gorgeous patio containers and garden beds. Mangave are rarely bothered by browsing animals thanks to their thick leaves, as well a marginal and terminal spines. An animal might dig up and chew on the roots if they are hungry enough. They are also less likely to be bothered by aphids and other insects which are known to chew holes in the leaves of annuals, perennials, and shrubs.
We are a wholesale grower of young perennial and succulent plants located in West Michigan. Our breeding program has produced many award winning introductions that are now sold throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia independently and under leading industry brands.
Mangave is a recent intergeneric discovery and one of our many passions. We hope you enjoy these creations and grow one of your own!