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The Mangave - The New Must-Have for Collectors

To create interior design with flowers and plants is fun to do. It makes your house more attractive to live in.

By: TIMO BOLTE | 17-11-2022 | 7 min read
Floral Designers Houseplants
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Many gardeners and florists are not yet familiar with this plant and are asking, “What is a Mangave?”. When I saw them at first, my thoughts immediately went to the Agave family. So I looked at the info on this Mangave plant: Manfreda is an old name, but now Agave is used as the Genus for Manfreda. And Mangave is a crossing between Agave and the old Manfreda brought to us by the breeders of Plantipp.

I hope to see more Mangave colors and forms in the future. To me, it's a must-have for collectors. 

Mangave - The Must-Have for Collectors

Amazed to read a 'Mangave' is a mix between Agave and Manfreda. They belong to succulents, which makes the Mangave easy plants. Perfect! They are available in different species, sizes, and colors. These characteristics make a Mangave plant also a real eye-catcher. For indoors as well as outdoors. For contemporary interiors, I can think of several ideas to start working with them. They are an added value to your living room for sure. 

 

Contemporary Mangave Plant Design in London in a Basket on Thursd
 
But I'm curious: the story says that Mangave hybrids were accidentally found growing in the Mexican desert. Oh, how I wish I was the one to find them. Horticulturists were there collecting seeds from the beautiful Manfreda specimen. Two seeds grew to five times the normal size, with different shaped leaves. And the blooms were different than those typically found on the Manfreda plant. Eventually, they realized there was a valley next nearby where Agave celsii grows, and the crossing between those two was the beginning of the Mangave.

With red spots and freckles of the Manfreda plant and the oversized leaves of the Agave, Mangaves are born. The spines have softened with the crossing, making them easier to plant without painful pokes. While it varies by the different types, Mangave hybrids sometimes grow twice as quickly as the Agave. They grow nicely and easily.

A Basket With Mangaves on ThursdMangave Garden in Basket on Thursd

 

Mangave Indoor Garden 

Mangaves are low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and often a perfect focal point in your garden as well as in your kitchen or home. Colors change and become more vibrant with the sun. So choose a sunny place. Make sure to give them plenty of room to grow in all directions when you plant. Or for indoors into a nice decorative container, and many plants together. For a London apartment, it gives a nice touch.
 
 
Decorative Cups With Mangaves on ThursdLittle Mangave Assortment in Bowl on Thursd


'Blazing Saddles' Mangave

This is certainly destined to be a star in any landscape! The Green leaves of Mangave Blazing Saddles are heavily spotted with clear red coloring. The leaves are so heavily spotted that the leaves appear to have solid red bands with green margins. A relatively low profile to the compact habit makes this plant perfect for framing containers.
 
Height: 6-8" | Spread: 12-14"

'Lavender Lady' Mangave

Lavender Lady' is a unique, feminine beauty whose solitary rosette habit and smoky purple coloration make it look very similar to an Echeveria. In direct sunlight, smoky purple leaves are formed at the top of the rosette and have subdued burgundy purple dots. As the rosette ages, the ovate leaves lighten to green, forming a two-tone effect. Each 1½" wide leaf has a cinnamon brown terminal spine. The margins are lined with tiny white spines; running your fingers along them feels like a comb, as they are fairly benign. Its broad leaves combine well with Mangave with narrower leaves, like ‘Man of Steel".
 
Height: 8-10" | Spread: 12-16"
 
 
Mangave Lavender Lady on Thursd
Mangave Lavender Lady

 

'Mission to Mars' Mangave

A common nickname for Mars is the Red Planet, and this Mangave Mission to Mars gets its moniker due to the unique, intense red coloration of the leaves. 2¾" wide, thick green leaves are heavily speckled with burgundy red, with spots that bleed into each other for an overall red appearance. The red coloration is brought out best in direct UV light and becomes subdued under heavy plastic. The 12-inch long leaves form an arching habit, caused by the tips of the leaves curving downward. Margins curl upward to show off their cinnamon spines, a nice color complementing the red.
 
Height: 8-10" | Spread: 20-22"
 

'Moonglow' Mangave

This succulent Mangave Moonglow has the surreal look of a moonlit night. 1" wide, silvery blue-green leaves practically glow with huge, contrasting dark purple spots to complete the effect. The spots will be more dramatic when exposed to more UV light levels from the sun. The 8-9" long, flat leaves are held rigidly straight from the base, forming a low, wide, and spiky habit. Tiny spines line the margins and terminal spines are relatively soft to the touch - much less lethal than Agave varieties.
 
Height: 8-10" | Spread: 16-20"
 

'Pineapple Express' Mangave

The refined, spiky habit of this Mangave will remind you of the top of a pineapple. 1” wide, dark green leaves are long and slender, with pronounced burgundy spotting. The spots will be more pronounced when in full sun and exposed to UV light. A waxy coating gives the leaves a minty-green finish. Leaves are packed in tightly to form a spiky rosette. Tiny spines line the margins, and a very sharp, cinnamon terminal spine completes the spiky look. Plant this Mangave Pineapple Express in a yellow or tan container to complete the pineapple look!
 
Height: 9-10" | Spread: 16-18"

 

Mangave Pineapple Express on Thursd
Mangave Pineapple Express

 

'Red Wing' Mangave

Looking for a focal point for your succulent container? You've found it with 'Red Wing' and its incredible stopping power. This succulent forms a very large, refined rosette comprised of a multitude of pronounced deep red leaves. Gorgeous for both containers and the landscape.
 
Height: 16-18" | Spread: 24-26"

'Silver Fox' Mangave

A stunning and exceptional variety in a color that you wouldn't expect to see in a Mangave! Just like the white fur of a silver fox, this succulent glows nearly white when you first glance at it. In reality, it's more of a light green covered with a thick waxy coating to give it that glowing color. Light blue-purple spotting appears underneath the coating, but is mostly unnoticeable from a distance. In addition to its wonderful color, 'Silver Fox' has a magnificent habit, with thick, arching leaves and defined marginal teeth.
 
Height: 8-10" | Spread: 16-18"
 
 
Mangave Silver Fox on Thursd
Mangave Silver Fox

 

'Snow Leopard' Mangave

This variegated sport of 'Jaguar' has the long, lance-shaped leaves of the parent but with creamy white margins. Some cherry red spotting of Mangave Snow Leopard exists along the margins, but the bright variegation appears clear from a distance. Compared to 'Kaleidoscope', this has white margins (versus yellow) and dark spots cover the leaves and are pink when on the margin. UV light enhances the spots.
 
Height: 16-18" | Width: 22-24"
 
 

How Do You Take Care of a Mangave as an Indoor Plant?

1. Location

The Mangave likes to be in a location with a lot of light. It is best to place it in a spot with direct sunlight or indirect sunlight.

2. Watering

A Mangave needs water at least once every 6 weeks. In the summer, the plant may be watered once a month. Do make sure that the water can drain off well. Otherwise, water will remain at the bottom of the flower pot and the Mangave could suffer from root rot.

3. Plant Nutrition

The Mangave doesn't consume a lot of energy. Supplementing the Mangave with plant nutrition is therefore certainly not necessary. Should you wish to give plant nutrition, then only do so during the growing season (spring to summer).

4. Repotting

We advise repotting the Mangave once every 3 years, or when the pot becomes too small. Repotting the Mangave gives the plant new nutrients and more space for root growth. The new airy potting soil is also very helpful for watering. The best period for repotting is spring.

5. Air-Purifying

The Mangave is not known for its air-purifying function. But for me, the decorative value is big enough to have it in my home. 

6. Is a Mangave Toxic?

They are not poisonous to humans or pets, making them perfect houseplants. Curious now? Get excited and try this newcomer.

 

My Mangave Garden in a Basket on Thursd Blog by Timo Bolte

 
 
All photos by Timo Bolte.
 
Plantipp Mad About Mangave banner on Thursd
Timo Bolte

Timo Bolte is a very talented German luxury event designer with floral design education who can successfully transform every single event and make it look unreal! His passion for his job and his skills in combination with his experienced team can design and approach an event perfectly with less stress and much more confidence, offering his clients both inspiration and information as he provides unique tips, planning, designing, and executing every vision. Timo Bolte has won many awards for his impressive artwork and now he is one highly talented young designer that always fascinates and surprises people with his work. He is a true dream maker that touch people’s lives and emotions through his plants and floral designs. His credo is the nearness to the plant. Together with the control of the most different creation schemata, it is above all the unconditional respect for the natural growth forms which constitute the creation of Timo Bolte. He looks at flowers as a cultural asset. And if he speaks then of himself as a cultural-creative, resonate in it his esteem and love for flowers and plants.

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