Agave aurea Brandegee
Baja California Sur Century Agave
Agave aurea var. aurea
This species is native to Mexico. It occurs from the west slopes of the Sierra de la Giganta to the Sierra la Laguna in Baja California Sur.
Agave aurea is a succulent plant that forms a solitary short-stemmed rosette of gracefully arching yellow-green to green leaves. The rosette grows up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and 6.6 feet (2 m) in diameter. Leaves are linear to lanceolate with regularly spaced brown spines along the straight to undulate margins and a dark brown or grayish red terminal spine. They are up to 3.6 feet (1.1 m) long and up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) wide. The terminal spine is up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long. 2.5-3.5 cm long. Flowers are bell-shaped, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long, red to purplish in bud, becoming yellow to orange-yellow when open. They appear in congested umbels on up to 16.4 feet (5 m) tall inflorescence with lateral peduncles, usually in spring. Fruits are three-chambered capsules with black seeds.
The specific epithet "aurea (AW-re-uh)" is a Latin adjective meaning "made of gold, golden" and refers to the color of the flowers.
How to Grow and Care for Agave aurea
Light: Like all Agaves, this plant requires full sun to partial shade. If growing A. aurea indoors, choose a bright, sunny window with as much sun as possible. From spring to fall, it loves going outside.
Soil: A. aurea will tolerate most soils as long as they have good drainage, but its preference is sandy or rocky soil.
Temperature: During the growing season, it likes warm temperatures, while in winter, when resting, this succulent enjoys cooler temperatures. A. aurea can withstand temperatures as low as 25 °F (-3.9 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9b to 11b, 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C).
Watering: From spring to fall, water thoroughly when the soil becomes dry. In winter, water sparingly about once a month. Plants in containers require more frequent watering than those in the ground.
Fertilizing: Give your A. aurea a small amount of fertilizer in the spring during the first two years. After that, established plants seem to take care of themselves.
Repotting: If you notice your A. aurea becoming pot-bound, repot it with fresh soil in a new pot that is just slightly larger than the old one. Give the plant a week or so to readjust before you water it again.
Propagation: Since it is a plant with a solitary growth habit, A. aurea can be propagated only from seeds.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.
Toxicity of Agave aurea
A. aurea is not toxic to humans, but it may be mildly poisonous to children and pets.
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