True Blue Agave / Tequila Agave / (Agave tequilana var. ‘Azul’ or ‘Weber’s Azul’)
This unique release has been over 10 years in the making, and is another huge first for Livingseeds.
Access to True Blue Tequila planting material will appeal to the craft distillers and the serious collectors of the truly rare and unusual amongst you!
How would you like to make your own, authentic, tequila? (Even though you can’t legally call it that)
Tequila is protected in Mexico in precisely the same way as Champagne is protected in France.
To be called tequila according to Mexican law, the spirits have to be distilled in the Jalisco region from a very specific variety of Agave, called “Weber’s Azul”.
Tequila is made from the core of the agave plant, called the piña. Generally, agave plants flower only once, converting all their energy into a flowering stalk that can reach 5m high and producing masses of flowers that are pollinated by fruit bats. To make tequila, however, farmers cut off this flower stalk just as it develops. The plant still converts all its starches into special sugars called fructans, that all collect in the piña. This sugar-rich heart of the tequila plant is then harvested by cutting all the leaves off with a special spade-like knife called a coa, after which it is then further processed by baking, juicing and finally fermenting and distilling the resultant brew...... into Tequila!
There have been many start-ups producing Agave type spirits in South Africa from species being grown locally (most often A. americana, making the resultant brews mezcal, and not tequila). The one thing they have been missing is this plant, for a number of reasons, the main one being that except for the private collections of dedicated collectors, this variety is not often available to home gardeners or smallholders, or even craft distillers.
This is a pity, because very few Agave can reach harvesting age as fast as A. tequiliana, (in as little as five years), and the augamiel or “honey water” ie. sap for fermentation, produced by this variety is of a purity and agave sugar content that is unmatched.
You don’t even need to turn it into liquor though, as like many other forms of Agave, the plant makes a spectacular specimen plant with its large rosette of thick, spiky blue leaves.
With proper care, the Tequila Agave becomes a large plant, able to reach over 2m tall and wide.
It is a sun-lover, able to withstand a little light shade but prefers full sun. It tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, but needs well-draining soil (It does NOT like wet feet).
They do equally well in pots though the plant will be smaller. The plant grows quickly with a light dressing of organic fertiliser like Talborne Vita Grow, applied during the growing season.
The plant can tolerate extreme heat, and can handle temperatures of up to -4C for brief periods making it suitable for growing in most of the country. It can be grown as a specimen plant in succulent and food gardens, or can be established in rows against northern walls and hard to reach boundary fences.
Remember to give the plants enough space to grow to their full potential, especially if you plan on harvesting it.
Another tip for producing a top-quality piña is to remove the suckers that form around the base of the plant (These can be replanted and will form new tequila plants). Your aim is to grow a large, single plant.
A well grown piña can produce enough aguamiel once fermented and distilled to make three to four liters of really high quality Agave spirit.
You will receive a bare-rooted bulbs that should be planted out within 7 days of receiving them.
You can “start” the bulbs in pots with a rich, well-draining potting soil or establish in a protected garden site.
Cultivation: Full sun. Enjoys rich soil. Drought hardy but appreciates water in summer.
Propagation: From suckers formed freely around the base.
True Blue Tequila Agave
- Product Code: 181-Aga-01
- Availability: Out Of Stock