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Agave angustifolia (Caribbean Agave)

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Scientific Name

Agave angustifolia Haw.

Common Names

Caribbean Agave, Mescal Agave, Century Plant, Narrow-Leaved Century Plant, Maguey

Synonyms

Agave elongata, Agave lespinassei, Agave wightii, Agave wrightii, Agave yaquiana, Agave zapupe, Agave vivipara (misapplied)

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave

Description

Agave angustifolia is an evergreen, succulent plant up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall, forming a large rosette of narrow, stiffly, erect leaves with moderately-spaced spines. The flowers are greenish-yellow to white and the flowering stem can be up to 16.5 feet (5 m) tall. It blooms after 10 years or more in spring and die after flowering.

Photo via public.asu.edu

Hardiness

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. If, however, you are the type of person who likes to set it and forget it, and you have a sunny window, Agave might the way to go. Be aware that some of the 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 cause injuries to small children and even pets.

In general, Agave do not need to be repotted every year. Most of the species commonly found in cultivation grow very slowly and will 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 do repot, refresh the spent soil with new potting mix and make sure 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

Origin

Agave angustifolia is native to Mexico and Central America.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

Links

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