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Agave atrovirens (Pulque Agave)


Scientific Name

Agave atrovirens Karw. ex Salm-Dyck

Common Names

Pulque Agave

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave


Agave atrovirens is a succulent that forms a rosette from the center of which, after many years, a panicle of flowers emerges on a long stalk. It is the largest of all the Agaves. Leaves are up to 15 feet (4.5 m) long, up to 16 inches (40 cm) wide. They have smooth dark green surfaces marked with gray bud imprints, small, dark brown teeth, and terminal spines. At first, the flower stalk looks like a vast stalk of asparagus, but later grows up to 40 feet (12.2 m) tall and develops side branches near the top and numerous flowers which open red and gradually turn yellow.


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

Agave atrovirens (Pulque Agave)

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How to Grow and Care

Agaves are not difficult plants 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 injure small children and even pets.

In general, Agaves do not need to be repotted every year. Most of the species commonly found in cultivation grow very slowly and take a long time to outgrow their pot. It is also best to handle your plant as little as possible since they do not like to be disturbed. When you do repot, refresh the spent soil with a 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.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.


Agave atrovirens is native to Mexico.


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