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Scarred leaves

MY AGAVES have dry pale brown spots on their leaves which have remained unchanged through summer. I first noticed them in spring and the new leaves growing seem to be fine. Have you any idea of the pest that has caused these unsightly blemishes?


THE MOST probable cause of this type of damage is hail. While many succulents, including your agaves (Agave attenuata) appear to be tough plants, a heavy shower of hail can puncture the leaf surface resulting in small scars that remain visible for the life of that leaf.

You may not even have been aware of the hail, as it could have occurred at night.

I'm sorry, but there's nothing you can do apart from cutting off any particularly bad-looking leaves close to the main stem.

If the plant is growing well new leaves should soon sprout and eventually hide the damaged ones.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 140, 2004, Page 27

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: June 30, 2005