Agave ‘Pineapple Express’
x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’
x Mangave ‘Jaguar and x Mangave ‘Bloodspot’
I have always wanted to try x Mangave and Manfreda so I was very happy to find this x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’ at Wildwood Greenhouse on June 13, 2019. This cultivar was released by Walters Gardens in 2016 as part of their “Mad About Mangave® Collection” created by Hans Hansen. Mr. Hansen is a foremost breeder and has created many cultivars of many types of plants.
Now, let me see if I can explain the whole Agave, Manfreda, x Mangave ordeal…
The genus, Manfreda Salisb., was initially named and described as such by Richard Anthony Salisbury in The Genera of Plants in 1866. Version 1.1 of The Plant List (not maintained since 2013 but still online), lists 33 accepted species in the genus and 98 synonyms. World Flora Online superseded The Plant List but uploaded the outdated data which it hasn’t corrected yet… From what I gather, they are supposed to upload up-to-date data from Plants of the World Online by Kew. All, I am saying, is there “were” 38 accepted species in the Manfreda genus in the last update in 2013…
OK, so many of the species in Manfreda had previously been in the Agave genus, or likely moved back and forth over the years. Some people referred to them as one or the other which was fine as long as the names were validly published. Taxonomy is confusing sometimes. I don’t know what date, but it was determined that due to molecular and genetic evidence the species in the genera Manfreda and Polianthes be included in the Agave genus. Some species retained their species names while others were renamed or were already synonymous with other Agave species in the first place. Some reject the change because of the differences between Agave, Manfreda, and the hybrids.
The genus, Agave L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. Ummm… There are 21 synonyms, which of course, include Manfreda, x Mangave, and Polianthes…
Plants of the World Online there are 277 accepted species of Agave (as of 12-26-20 when I am updating this page). Many species of other genera have been moved to the Agave genus, such as Manfreda. It is a member of the plant family Asparagaceae with 118 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING.
The Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ was created by Hans Hansen of Walter’s Gardens who applied for a patent I think in 2016. The original cross between x Mangave ‘Jaguar’ and x Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ began in 2011 and after several years of breeding work it was released to the public in 2016.
The Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ did very well, but I had to bring the potted plants inside for the winter on October 11 (2019). I always take photos of the cactus and succulents when I bring them inside and take measurements. I forgot to measure this plant when I brought it home, but it was 4 1/2″ tall x 9″ wide on October 11.
I really like the olive green color of the leaves with the maroon spots. The margins of the leaves have tiny teeth and they are tipped with a brownish spine…
I had several plants that needed re-potted, so I started doing that on November 13. Ummm… Information says this cultivar is slow to offset, but it already had one when I re-potted it…
I had to move the potted plants inside on Octobe 15 because an “F” was in the forecast. The x Agave ‘Pineapple Express’ has done very well and measured 9″tall x 13″ wide. It had about 10 offsets!!!
Zones: USDA Zones (8b)9-11 (15 to 45° F/-9.4 to 7.2° C)
Size: 9-18” tall x 12-24” wide
*Light: Full sun to part shade
**Soil: Well-drained. Fine in the ground where hardy, but I have to keep mine in a pot. Good quality potting soil amended with pumice (50/50) or additional perlite and chicken grit (2-1-1).
***Water: Regular watering during the summer, barely during the winter.
*During the summer, I keep most of my cactus on the back deck where they receive full sun. During the winter most cactus aren’t picky about the light because they are basically dormant. For several winters, mine were in front of the east-facing sliding door in the dining room so they didn’t get much light but they did great. I built a new shelf for the bedroom so now they are in front of a west-facing window. Most of the succulents are on a shelf in a south-facing window in a cool bedroom but a few are in my bedroom. I had the x Mangave(Agave) ‘Pineapple Express’ on the back porch with the cactus in 2019 but it was on the front porch during the summer in 2020. It grew much bigger on the front porch…
**When it comes to potting soil, finding the “sweet spot” is not exactly that easy when materials are limited. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts (and experts) do not recommend using peat-based commercial mixes but what choice is there for most of us. They say to use a loam-based mix… Hmmm… Our soil is loam, so do I just use dirt? Well, no because “dirt” is heavy and you need a “light” material. There is A LOT of cactus and succulent recipes online and some get pretty elaborate. Many say to use sand as an ingredient, but if you do that, it needs to be very coarse, like builders sand, because “ordinary” sand, like for sandboxes, is too fine and it clogs up the air space between the coarser ingredients. For MANY years I used 2 parts Miracle Grow or Schultz Potting amended with an additional 1 part of perlite and 1 part chicken grit. Schultz doesn’t seem to have as many large pieces of bark. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts recommended using pumice instead of perlite and grit so I checked it out… The “guy” at General Pumice (online) recommended using a 50/50 mix of potting soil and pumice. General Pumice has 3 different sizes to choose from depending on the size of the pot. SO, in 2018 I bought a bag of 1/8″ and mixed it 50/50 with Miracle Grow Potting Soil. I liked it pretty well. Then in 2020, since most of the cactus were in larger pots, I ordered the 1/4″ size. Pumice has a lot of benefits over perlite and has nutrients that are added to the soil when watering. Pumice is also heavier so it stays mixed in the soil instead of “floating” to the top. Still, there is the issue of the mix getting very hard once you stop watering the plants during the winter when you stop watering. I think this is because of the peat in the potting soil… SO, instead of re-potting the cactus and succulents in the spring, I started doing it during the fall and winter so their soil would be loose. Since you don’t water as frequently during the winter if at all, the timed-release fertilizer does not activate unless you water on a regular basis. I have not tried coir, but I am looking into it…
I think a lot of growing tips online are written by people who never grew succulents and cactus. They just copy from one website and paste it to theirs. You have to sort of mimic the soil where species grow in their native habitat. For that, you almost have to go see for yourself… Typically, they grow in fairly rocky soil.
***I water my cactus and succulents on a regular basis during the summer but barely ever in the winter (maybe a little in January) until close to time to take them back outside.
When you bring your new plants home from the store, you need to check their roots and the soil to see if they are wet. If so, you may want to re-pot it right away. It is advisable to re-pot them in a better potting soil more suitable for cactus and succulents.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.