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Agave cantala (Bombay Aloe)


Scientific Name

Agave cantala (Haw.) Roxb. ex Salm-Dyck

Common Names

Bombay Aloe, Cantala, Cantala Fibre, Cebu Maguey, Manila Maguey


Furcraea cantala

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave


Agave cantala is a succulent that forms a rosette of gray-green, up to 6.5 feet (2 m) long leaves. It grows that grows up to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) tall. Towards the end of its life, the rosette puts up a flowering stem that grows up to 26 feet (8 m) tall.

Agave cantala (Bombay Aloe)


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

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 cantala is probably native of Mexico. It is commonly grown in southeastern Asia, from the Philippines to India.


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