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November 2011
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Agave Tequilana also known as blue agave, tequila agave is an agave and is the basic ingredient of tequila

Image of Agave Tequilana plant at Google

Agave tequilana which is also known as blue agave, tequila agave, mezcal or maguey is an agave that is native to Jalisco, Mexico -North America and grows in the regions of Europe, South Africa, India, and Australia. The name is also because as it is the basic ingredient of tequila. This is used for preparing alcoholic beverages.

These plants are found in rich and sandy soils. They grow into succulents with leaves that are fleshy and about 2metres in height. This plant is pollinated by bat named Leptonycteris nivalis.

Other than tequila the beverages like mescal and pulque are also produced using this plant. This plant can treat diseases of the intestines like Crohn’s and colitis diseases.

This plant’s flower is used to make pulque. The leaves fibers are used for making rope, matting, and coarse cloth and for embroidery of leather in a technique known as piteado. Agave nectar which is also known as agave syrup is a natural sugar substitute.

Growing/Caring conditions for Agave Americana:
– This plant can be propagated from seed.
– The plants should be watered around the soil to ensure soil to root contact.
– The plants should be spaced 6 feet apart for enabling the plant to spread at the base.
– The plant is best grown in USDA zone 8-9.
– This plant need full sun to partial shade but prefers lots of sunshine.
– This plant needs at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.
– This plant needs moderately fertile and well drained soil.
– It needs high humidity and hence it should be maintained.
– Mulch with a 2-inch layer of bark or gravel mulch around the base for the plant to retain moisture.
– Maintain evenly moist soil.
– Overhead watering is recommended as the leaves are shaped to funnel water to the base.
– During summer watering the plant after three to four weeks will let the leaf be green and upright.
– Do not water clog the plant.
– Care should be taken from a condition known as anthracnose that can attach itself to the plant as a result of watering or during rainy and windy conditions. Infected leaves should be removed from spreading.
– Snout weevil is a major problem hence care must be taken.
– Soil-borne pathogens can cause crown or root rot hence this fungal infection should be avoided.

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