Fort Collins Nursery has a wonderful collection of cactus and agave from Cold Hardy Cactus. The collection was compiled by renowned Colorado nurseryman and propagator Kelly Grummons, and contains the most garden-worthy species and varieties of cactus and agave from across North America, specially selected for Front Range gardens.
Agave is a delightful genus of succulent plants, mainly from the American Southwest and Mexico. They feature succulent leaves that end in sharp points with blue-green or grey-green foliage. Most agave varieties eventually flower but take at least seven years to do so. The plant typically dies once they have bloomed but at that point will have produced many pup plants which grow in their place.
There are many practical uses for agave in landscapes and gardens. A large agave makes a nice sculptural focal point and smaller varieties can be featured in patio containers or rock garden settings. They make a nice border grouping and their hard edges provide texture and contrast with softer plants and grasses.
Plants in the family Cactaceae are all native to North, Central and South America and some Caribbean islands. Cactus are succulent perennial plants that have modified tissues for water storage, making them well adapted to survive in arid regions. Their spines are actually modified leaves which help prevent water loss and provide shade for the stem. Cacti vary in size, color, shape, and growth habit and often produce stunning flowers. They are widely cultivated as ornamental plants and can fill many roles in the landscape by adding texture, shape, and various degrees of height to a space.
Originally published on April 4th, 2019. Updated on March 31st, 2021.