Agave angustifolia Haw.
Caribbean Agave, Mescal Agave, Century Plant, Narrow-Leaved Century Plant, Maguey
Agave elongata, Agave lespinassei, Agave wightii, Agave wrightii, Agave yaquiana, Agave zapupe, Agave vivipara (misapplied)
Agave angustifolia is a succulent plant that forms large stemless or short-stemmed rosettes of stiff, fleshy, greyish-green or bluish-grey leaves with margins armed with small brown prickly teeth and a pointed tip topped with a dark-brown spine. The rosettes grow up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall and 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter. Leaves are narrow, up to 32 inches (80 cm) long, and up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide. After ten years or more in spring, the rosette blooms and dies after flowering. Flowers are greenish-yellow and appear clustered on a stem that grows up to 16.5 feet (5 m) tall. The seed capsules are dark brown or blackish, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide. Plantlets are often also produced in clusters near the tips of the flowering branches.
USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Agave is not a difficult plant to grow. They are slow-growing and dramatic and will even thrive on a bit of neglect. If you are the type of person who likes to fuss with houseplants and water a lot, Agave is probably not the plant for you. On the other hand, if you are the type of person who likes to set it and forget it, and you have a sunny window, Agave might be the way to go. Be aware that some large varieties will eventually outgrow your room (unless you have a large greenhouse), and Agave can be aggressive. They have irritating sap and sometimes very sharp thorns that can injure small children and even pets.
In general, Agaves do not need to be repotted every year. Most species commonly found in cultivation grow very slowly and take a long time to outgrow their pot. It is also best to handle your Agave as little as possible since they do not like to be disturbed. When you repot, refresh the spent soil with a new potting mix and ensure the plant is firmly anchored in its pot. However, be careful not to pot the Agave too deep as that will encourage stem rot during the growing season.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.
- Back to genus Agave
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.