Mangave “Bloodspot” is a fairly new plant, a hybrid of Agave macroacantha × Manfreda maculosa.
It has been created by plant scientists and does not exist in nature. While the gardeners are still learning about mangaves and their grow habits, their rare beauty and the ease of care are making this plant increasingly popular.
This magnificent hybrid has wide, upright, spiky leaves of agave, but it grows faster and it is not as prickly. Its leaves have big purple spots of manfreda but the plant is much more tolerant of heat and cold.
Mangave “Bloodsport” is one of the most beautiful mangave created by enthusiastic experimental gardeners. It has elegant green-grey leaves with dark purple spots and dark brown prickles on the edges.
The eight-inch long leaves become paler grey as the plant matures and nears its flowering stage. They form a dense rosette that creates a wonderful focal point in the garden and in a pretty pot.
And if you are lucky, it will reward you with a six to seven-foot-tall stalk with bright green flowers. Unlike agave, mangave is polycarpic, it blooms more than once and it does not die after blooming.
- 1 Mangave “Bloodspot” Care
- 2 Common Problems with Mangave “Bloodspot”
- 3 Tips for growing Mangave “Bloodspot”
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions about the Mangave “Bloodspot” care
- 5 Conclusion
Mangave “Bloodspot” Care
Mangave “Bloodsport” is an evergreen, perennial succulent. It grows best in full sun, but will enjoy a bit of dappled shade in the middle of the day. If grown as a house plant, it should be placed in front of the south-facing window and if necessary, supplemented with a grow-light or a fluorescent lamp. This mangave tolerates dry air and is not happy with too much humidity. It grows up to 12” tall and 24” wide. It needs well-draining very gritty soil. It should be watered only when the soil completely dries out. It requires very little fertilizing, preferably in spring.
Plant your mangave “Bloodsport” in very well-draining soil, very gritty and nutrient-poor. You can use cactus or succulents soil mix. Avoid soil that retains too much water. If you have to use garden soil, add about 50 percent of coarse sand, perlite, or pine bark.
Plant your mangave in a pot with a large draining hole to make sure all access water drains away. This plant is drought-tolerant but is not tolerant of soggy soil. Soil that retains water is the fastest way to kill it.
Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ is succulent and, like with other succulents, you should wait for the soil to completely dry before watering it. The best way to water it is using the “soak and dry” system – allow the soil to completely dry out and then water it thoroughly. Let the excess water leave the pot through the drainage hole.
If you wait too long between watering, and the roots of ‘Bloodspot’ stay dry too long, your plant will enter dormancy.
Mangave “Bloodspot” can tolerate a more frequent watering without having its roots rot than the agave, especially once its roots are well-established.
Once your mangave is the size you want, you can slow its growth by watering it less frequently.
When watering, make sure to water the soil directly. Do not let the water accumulate in the heart of the plant or the leaves will rot.
The more sun your mangave “Bloodspot” gets, the more colorful its leaves will be, making its large cranberry-colored spots and tiny maroon spikes on the leaves really startling. This mangave will tolerate partial shade.
Mangave is not recommended for an indoor environment, but it can be very successful if you provide enough light and dry, hot air. Keep your plant near the window with southern exposure and if you do not get full sun in any room of your house, place your mangave under the grow-light, a full-spectrum bulb, or a fluorescent lamp.
Your mangave loves full sun and bright light, but protect it from the afternoon summer sun with a temperature higher than 85 °F (30°C.) The ideal temperature range is between 46° and 90°F (8° – 32°C). High temperature, combined with dry soil and full sun can burn the leaves.
While more tolerant to freezing temperature than agave, you should bring your mangave indoors if there is a danger of frost and you keep it on the balcony or in the garden.
Mangave “Bloodspot” does best in a dry, desert environment but will do fine in the room with the air that is comfortable for humans. It does not like high humidity, so rooms like the bathroom are not suitable for it.
Leaves will accumulate dust at home so wash them occasionally with a wet cloth.
Your Mangave “Bloodspot” is not a heavy feeder. A small dose of balanced diluted liquid fertilizer in spring is probably all it needs. If you want your mangave to grow faster, you can add a bit of fertilizer every time you water it. The consequence is that your mangave will become “soft”, less resilient, and less robust.
You can completely omit fertilizing your mangave if you want it to stay small, especially if it is growing in the limited space of your living room or kitchen.
Your mangave “Bloodspot” will not grow indoors as fast as in the garden, so frequent repotting will not be necessary. Nevertheless, plan on repotting it every two to three years in spring. Use the same coarse potting mix you used originally or use a ‘Cactus’ potting mix. Repot your mangave in the pot one size larger than the old one. Make sure it has a large drainage hole.
The only time your mangave will need pruning is if you see any damaged, rotting, or browning leaves. Prune the damaged leaf at the base.
Mangave “Bloodspot” is a hybrid and most of the plants available on the market are clones created by micropropagation, Mangave rarely produce offsets or pups, but if they do, you will find them sprouting around the plant base.
During the repotting, snap or cut each pup if they are about an inch and a half tall and have sufficient root system developed. Let them dry for a few days before planting them in their own pots.
It is also possible to propagate mangave “Bloodspot” using bulbils from the flower stalk, but no information is available on how to do this.
Mangave “Bloodspot” rarely blooms when grown as a house plant, but it is possible if its growing conditions are right. As the plant matures, in the summer you might see a tall flower stalk that at times reaches six to seven-foot-tall growing from the rosette. The stalk is covered in lime green flowers that have a subtle fragrance.
While most agave die after producing a bloom, mangave, fortunately, do not and might bloom the next summer again. The flowers attract hummingbirds.
Mangave “Bloodspot” is an agave x manfreda hybrid, an evergreen polycarpic succulent. It is drought-tolerant, with compact growth that reaches a foot to foot and half in height. It grows faster than its parent agave, but slower when grown indoors.
Its leaves are long, succulent, sword-shaped, grey-green with cranberry spots and dark brown spikes along the edges of leaves.
Unlike its parent agave, mangave is polycarpic, which means it will not die after it blooms. It might produce new flowers and seeds every summer.
Mangave is prone to root rot and should be watered only after the roots are completely dry. Overwatering is the biggest issue with mangave, so growing it in the well-draining coarse soil is crucial.
Mangave does not need fertilizing but would benefit from a weak feeding in spring, with the balanced liquid fertilizer. More watering and more fertilizing will result in faster growth, especially in summer.
When the plant reaches the desired height, reducing the frequency of watering will slow its growth.
Mangave needs full sun and bright light to thrive. At home, it means a window with southern exposure or a fluorescent lamp.
This lovely mangave rarely blooms when grown indoors but when it does, it produces a tall flower stalk with green, fragrant flowers in summer.
Common Problems with Mangave “Bloodspot”
As most drought-tolerant plants, mangave suffers from too much water, which can lead to crown and/or root rot. When kept indoors, mangaves can suffer from scale and mealybug infestation.
Root and crown rot
Mangave’s biggest problem is root and crown rot. Using well-draining coarse soil with very little organic matter and watering only when the soil is completely dry is the key to keeping it healthy.
Crown rot is caused by water sitting in the crown of the plant. It is important to water the plant directly to the soil and not allowing water to get into the crown.
Mealybugs are soft, tiny wingless insects that can be recognized by the white cotton they leave on the leaves of your mangave. They make the holes in the leaves and suck the sap. It will cause the leaves to curl and yellow. The sticky honeydew mealybugs excrete encourages sooty mold.
Spray your mangave with neem oil, hose down the plant with water, or wash the leaves with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol.
Mealybugs like a hot and humid environment. If they show up on your mangave, there is probably too much humidity in the room.
Scales are small, oval, flat insects that thrive in warm, dry environments. You can usually find them on the undersides of leaves and at the leaf base.
The leaves of an infected mangave will look sickly, yellow, and may drop.
Wash your plant with a strong blast of water, wipe leaves with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol or spray it with the neem oil. Keep at it, it is not easy to get rid of the scale.
By providing your mangave “Bloodspot” with the right conditions, you will make it more resilient and resistant to plant diseases or pests.
Make sure it has enough direct light, dry air, and well-draining soil. Too much water will cause root and crown rot, so plant your mangave in the well-draining soil and water the soil and not the plant crown.
Check the leaves of your mangave for the signs of bugs or rot. Treat the plant with the right product before the infestation becomes serious.
Tips for growing Mangave “Bloodspot”
- Provide bright light and at least a few hours of sun. A window with southern exposure is the best. If you do not have natural light in your room, use a fluorescent lamp or growth light.
- Make sure the soil is completely dry before watering.
- Fertilize once in spring with a diluted balanced fertilizer, or not at all.
- Check your mangave for pests often and treat it as soon as you spot any signs of them.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Mangave “Bloodspot” care
Do Mangave die after flowering?
Mangaves, unlike their parent agave, are polycarpic. It means they do not die after blooming and may bloom every summer. They inherited that from their other parent, manfreda.
Can I grow my mangave “Bloodspot” iunder fluorescent light?
Mangave requires bright light and a few hours a day of full sun. If the room where you want to keep it has no enough natural light, place your plant near the fluorescent lamp or grow light.
How do I know if my succulent needs to be repotted?
Your mangave grows fairly slowly when grown indoors, so it does not need repotting more often than every two-three years. You will know it is time to repot it when the roots grow out of the drainage hole.
Mangave “Bloodspot” is considered fairly easy to grow. While fairly new and the gardeners are still learning about its growth habits, this mangave is gaining in popularity because of its distinct, colorful leaves and interesting dense rosette.
While mangave is not recommended as a house plant, it can be grown successfully if you provide it with a few hours of sun and bright light every day. Roots hate to be wet so it is important not to water the plant unless the soil is completely dry. It requires very little fertilizing.
So, as long as you have a window with southern exposure and can give your mangave “Bloodspot” enough light, you can enjoy watching it grow slowly and one summer even might see the tall stalk with a fragrant flower.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.