Give them sun! Or not?

This post has multiple purposes. First, to showcase my potted succulent collection, which I only acquired during the last 9 months. Second, to ask an important question.

Agave mitis var. mitis? or Agave 'Burnt Burgundy'?

Actually, I'll tackle the second part first. Do all agaves want as much sun as they can get?


I think for the most part they do, but do different species have partial shade requirements?

Agave weberi 'Arizona Star'

Agave lopthana 'Quadricolor'

I mainly ask because of this guy...

Agave 'Blue Flame'?  Damaged leaves skillfully hidden by camera work

...who lost a few leaves after I brought it outside, even though it was only getting a bit of morning sun to start with.

Everybody else is doing fine...

Mangave ‘Bloodspot'

Agave desmettiana? 

Agave impressa 'Impressive'

Agave NOID, smooth white edges

Agave parrasana 'Globe'

Agave ochahui 'Wavy Gravy'

I eased all of these into sunlight, and a few of them are still in partial shade.

I assume that aloes are happier in partial sun -- is that right? (Sorry, that's an extra question)

Or can these take full sun too?

My biggest Aloes are still in the house, but will come outside soon.

And if you're feeling like the previous two questions were too easy, how much sunlight does this Rhipsalis (?) need:

It's getting almost full shade right now. It's looking okay, but not great.

Thanks for the help!


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Denise  – (June 11, 2015 at 2:37 PM)  

All those agaves in just nine months! That's impressive. I'll let others who winter over agaves give sun/shade advice, but I will say that 'Blue Flame' because of its attenuata blood needs some shade, not full-day sun. Mine disfigures quickly in spring heat waves. The rhipsalis don't want midday sun either, at least here in Los Angeles. Very cool collection, Alan.

Alan  – (June 11, 2015 at 3:59 PM)  

Denise: Thanks! Please note that I want to comment on almost every one of your blog posts, but it never works for me. :(

Teri  – (June 11, 2015 at 6:24 PM)  

My blue flame gets badly sunburned. I have to have it where it gets a lot of shading from other plants like a tall sedum.

My aloes are in full sun. They look really terrible for a while, then come back with a vengence.

Mark and Gaz  – (June 11, 2015 at 11:27 PM)  

Fascinating to hear about the Blue Flame needing some shade although it depends on the area. But it seems the new leaves are fine hence probably it's just acclimatising?

Impressive collection Alan, love 'em!! In general all of them will be fine in full sun but will appreciate watering on those sunny and hot stretches of days.

danger garden  – (June 12, 2015 at 12:19 AM)  

I agree with Denise. In my experience any Agave with (as she says, and I love) "attenuata blood" needs some shade, all summer long for me. I find that Aloes vary greatly. Some of mine are fine in sun, others want much more shade. I've learned by trial and error. Your collection is fabulous!

outlawgardener  – (June 12, 2015 at 9:10 AM)  

Great collection, Alan! Since I have very little full sun in my garden anymore (someone keeps planting trees and shrubs) all of my agaves and aloes get by with only a few hours of sunlight a day. They seem fine and grow but maybe would be happier in blazing sun.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (June 12, 2015 at 11:18 AM)  

Except for the hard-core desert species (usually with silver leaves, like desertii, zebra, etc.) most agaves are quite shade-tolerant. In fact, I have some that get no direct sun A. geminiflora, one A. titanota).

I read recently that it's almost impossible to acclimate an agave that's used to shade to the sun without burning it. The theory is that the old leaves remain sun-sensitive while the new leaves can take it no problem. Not sure I totally buy into this theory, but I do give agaves time to get used to the sun by covering them with window screen for a few weeks.

Great collection, by the way. I'm particularly envious of your 'Arizona Star'. My pup looks like s**t.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (June 12, 2015 at 11:28 AM)  

P.S. The first agave is not mitis. Looks a lot like Burnt Burgundy' but the leaves on mine are darker. Could be the amount of light/sun it gets. Nice-looking plant for sure.

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