Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


Octopus Agave: Tucson's Jack In The Beanstalk

Mike in Tucson: Octopus Agave

My Darlin' and I planted this Octopus Agave five years ago.  It was perhaps 18" high and about 2' across.  It's been featured in many of my blog posts~most recently in National Geographic Comes To The Joneses Back Yard with the big rattlesnake and that unfortunate rabbit.  (See Comment # 20 in that post.  The rattlesnake chose this agave as his dining area.)

Back in the middle of March, it began sprouting a stalk.  Within a week or so, that stalk reached a height of three feet (top left photo.)  Before Ginny left for New Jersey (the week before Easter,) I took the photo at the bottom right.  Ginny is five feet tall.

We came back two weeks later, and by the beginning of May, the stalk was higher than the house by quite a bit, and I took the bottom left photo.

Then, toward the middle of May, it flowered!  In the top right photo, it's in full bloom, and each pollinated flower will become a miniature Octopus Agave growing right out of that stalk.

Needless to day, we call this plant Jack.


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photos copyright Mike in Tucson

Comment balloon 44 commentsMike Jones • June 02 2010 12:17AM


Hi Mike, does this agave die after flowering?  BTW, Stacey got there and was locked out.  After a good laugh we decided to meet up again tomorrow.

Posted by Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty, Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona (Leolinda Realty) over 10 years ago


It's leaves are already shrinking and turning yellow as the new plants on the stalk draw sustenance from the mother plant.  It will die, but will produce 1,000 new plants.

Good luck with the listing; I'll have to call Stacey.  LOL

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Amazing Mike, I have never seen an agave plant- let alone a giant !  That's a lot of tequilla :-)

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) over 10 years ago


I'd never look up on your patio. I'd be watching for your models!


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 10 years ago

Mike, very interesting way for the plant to propagate...

Helping you help others live their American dream...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 10 years ago


Yuccas, which look somewhat similar, flower each year with a stalk, but do not die off when they flower.  There are so many different varieties of Agave, and each is unique in size and coloring.


LOL!  Thanks for stopping by.


It is indeed.  ..although I think the Blue Agave is the one they use for Tequila.  I'll have to check that out on Google.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

You've done it again, Mike.

Taken us on a National Geographic quality photo tour of the uniqueness of Tucson.

Absolutely beautiful.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Wonderful photos, Mike.  I never would have thought to take photos periodically that could end up in a series like this.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 10 years ago


That is an amazing plant to have right in your own back yard, and such an appropriate name for it.

Very lovely photos.


Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) over 10 years ago

Good morning Mike,

It looks as though they are a really fast growing plant.  Will you be cutting the flowers off and planting them? 

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 10 years ago

We have these down here in Florida too and when they bloom like this one they are often higher than two story homes. It is amazing!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike, Mother nature sure has some surprises. What an neat plant.

Posted by Pat, Ben and Martin Mullikin (M3 Realty) over 10 years ago

Mother nature, a good eye and always ready camera...makes for a fabulous featured post!

This is just spectacular!


Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 10 years ago

Mike, Tucson sure has some amazing plant life. Very nice photos. Thanks.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 10 years ago

Mike, How cool is that?  I just love strange and wonderful natural things.  Nothing we can dream up can compare.  Glad I saw this one.  Thanks.

Posted by Marian Goetzinger, Crystal Coast Real Estate NC (Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000) over 10 years ago

No have I seen anything like it! It is beautiful and would be the masterpiece in any garden.  Beautiful!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 10 years ago

What a very interesting plant!  It is amazing that is can grow that tall!  The wonders of nature.

Posted by Michael Delaware, REALTOR®, CRS, GRI (North Sky Realty LLC) over 10 years ago


Absolutely amazing!!!  I have never seen one....and I can't believe how cool it is!

Posted by Lori Churchill Cofer, Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA (Beasley Realty) over 10 years ago

Maybe the water out there has steroids in it?? Seriously, I have heard that one they get going, they really take off. Very cool.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 10 years ago


Now if only we could get it to come to life and play basketball...  LOL


That's one unique plant, isn't it?

Michael D,

I've seen many of these in bloom around Tucson, but none so tall as ours.


Thanks for commenting!


Tiny little bees pollinate the flowers.  They're not the usual honeybee, but about 1/4th the size.


Well, I'm glad you stopped by.  Come back any time, and we'll see you on your blog.

Michael S,

We do, don't we?  Thanks for stopping by.


Thanks for saying so!  Happy belated Anniversary to you two.


It certainly is!

Barbara Jo,

We want to see photos.  More photos.


We'll be growing the little Agaves.  I'll take photos and blog about it.


Don't those undulating leaves remind you of an octopus?!


Ginny kept reminding me...


Tucson is just magnificent.  Makes you wonder how anyone could boycott us!  (Especially our own native born Congressman!)


Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

I love those plants!  They are incredible to look at and watch them grow!

As always COOL photo!


Posted by Michael and Cheron Lange, Associate Broker, GRI (Solutions Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Wow!  What are you feeding that thing???

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier, Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) over 10 years ago

Mike - wow that agave plant is beautiful. We were just in Mexico and saw many agave plants, but none that big!

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) over 10 years ago

Beautiful and sad....I had one too, and then it died! :(

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 10 years ago

That's a really cool plant...but I admit I am kind of glad you didn't include the photo of the rattlesnake and the bunny...I was bracing myself for it as I scanned over your pics in the post! LOL

Posted by Christine Wade - Real Estate Virtual Assistant, Proud to Serve Your Real Estate Support Needs (Christine Wade) over 10 years ago

Great photos Mike, and a great story

Posted by Bill Travis, Broker/Owner (Captain Bill Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

Nice job, how high are they normally?

Posted by Ross Quintana, Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966 (Real E Smarter) over 10 years ago

Beautiful plant, great photos and story, thanks Mike.

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 10 years ago

That is an amazing looking plant, Mike!  Is that the plant that they make Blue Agave Nectar from; or is this a totally different plant.  Perhaps there could be Octopus Agave Nectar; but it might not sound as romantic as the other!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 10 years ago

Great photos -- we had a similar plant like that and it went through its blooming and growing cycle the first year we were in AZ -- we were rather clueless back then about such plants and weren't sure what to think when it shot up so tall almost overnight.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

Very cool pics!  Thanks for sharing!!!  i am starting to get into gardening lately and enjoy it!

Posted by Shanna Hall, I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311 (Real Estate Solutions) over 10 years ago

Wow. Arizona is a great place for unusual plants. I have always had a green thumb. Desert plants don't love our climate. I once had quite a collection of about 16 little potted cacti. Eventually they all withered away, but I love desert plants. Congradulations on a very unique specimen.

Posted by Sherry Chastain, Realtor, Selling Homes, Lake Properties,Luxury Homes,Short Sales (Hendersonville, Nashville, Old Hickory, Lebanon Tennessee) over 10 years ago


That it is!  Arizona is one amazing state.


You're welcome!  I have a green thumb, and AZ gives me a wide variety of plants to practice with.


Did you take photos?  Have you had an Octopus Agave since?  We'll save some of the "babies" for you.


No, the Blue Agave is the source of the nectar, and that good stuff they make from it.  :O)

Ron & Alexandra,

Thanks for stopping by to comment!


There's another in the neighborhood that topped out at 10'


I know they have these in Gilbert, don't they?  :)


You didn't click the link to see the rattlesnake?  C'mon back!


They do die after blooming, and that's sort of sad, but we will plant the little ones.


I'll have to stop by your blog and read about that Mexico trip.


Steroids.  No, really!


You are always SO encouraging!  Thanks.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Wow!  I had no idea that they could grow that tall!!  Jack is a perfect name for this truly inspired plant.

Posted by Michael J. O'Connor, Eastvale - 951-847-4883 (Diamond Ridge Realty) over 10 years ago


Something like this plant just had to be the inspiration for the fairy tale, don't you think?

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

OH!  The photos are very cool and how do you recover the baby plants?  Wait til it falls and replant them?? 

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) over 10 years ago

Holy Guacamole!  Now THAT is truly a beanstalk of fable proportions!  I wish our Leyland Cypresses would grow that fast (for privacy sake)!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 10 years ago


You would swear that you could see it growing! 


Once the little ones are a couple of inches big, we'll cut the stalk and replant some of them.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Jack grew WAY faster than I did, (or will for that matter) LOL Gorgeous photos Mike. Is that you or your pearly-white smiling wife who takes them?

Posted by Steve Bowen (Taglierre Partners, LLC / Bowen Investments, Co.) over 10 years ago


I'm the photographer.  Ginny's my model.  :)

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike. I also have an Octopus Agave in my yard, actually 18 of them! About 5 of the Agave were in bloom and now I have the babies on the flower spear. I was wondering if you knew how to take the abaies off and how to plant them. I know I'll have a ton of babies from the 5 plants. I just dont know how to get them off the flower stem. I'm afraid that if I just pull them off, they will not take root. Let me know if you have any idea how to transplant them. Thank you! I appreciate your help.

Posted by Lilia Mutka over 10 years ago


Let them get to 1 1/2" or more in size, and then do just that.  Pull them carefully from the spear and root them in moist cactus soil, and you will be pleased with the results.  My experience with the "bubils" is that they are unusual in one respect: they will stay small if confined to a small space.  I have three year old bubils in six inch pots that have never grown bigger than six inches or so.  Other bubils from the same plant that were replanted into 12" pots are now six or seven times larger than their siblings.  Feel free to email me through Active Rain if you like.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Great post and info.  I just noticed my Octopus Agave is growing a stalk (I live in Queen Creek).  Wasn't sure what it would look like and did a quick Google search and found your post.  Took my first pictures of it tonight.  Will be interesting to watch it grow.  One of the few surviving plants after our deep freeze this winter.

Posted by Jamie over 9 years ago


Thanks for stopping by to comment.  Send me an email through my blog (top right) and I'll send you photos of how it turns out.  It's amazing!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

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