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I planted some agave seeds about two months ago, which sprouted into 4 or 5 little 0.5 to 1 inch sprouts within a couple of weeks. However, they haven't grown at all since then. I water them about 1/3 as often as I water my other plants, which seems to keep the soil about the right moisture according to my meter. My apartment is usually 65 °F at night and 72 °F during the day, and it's in full sun for most of the day. I've been considering getting a heat lamp for growing the more tropical plants.

Is there anything I'm likely to be doing wrong (it's my first time growing that type of plant)?

Does agave normally stop growing for a while?

Is a heat lamp required for plants like agave?

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It's normal, don't try to force growth. They usually put out enough leaf area to support themselves, and then put all their energy into growing roots for a while. That's because in their natural habitat, they germinate during the rainy season (which is short), and if they don't get a good root system established by the time it dries up, the plant is unlikely to survive.

I think you are watering properly, and I'd fertilize very lightly with an extended release fertilizer low in nitrogen. They don't need intense light at this stage (to simulate the rainy season), so bottom heat would be preferable to a lamp if available.

What your plants are doing is normal, and they should begin growing again in a month or two. Don't expect very fast growth in the first year.

  • I got a bottom heat mat, put it on about 5pm yesterday. At 7AM today, the Agave had three new sprouts, and the existing ones were 1/2" taller. Thank you so much! – Tom Brendlinger Dec 15 '14 at 14:12

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