Agave horrida subsp. perotensis B.Ullrich
Horrid Hardy Century Plant, Mexcalmetl (indigenous name), Perote Agave, Perote Wicked Agave, Wicked Agave
This subspecies is native to Mexico and restricted to a small rocky area between Perote in Veracruz and Zacatepec to the southwest in Puebla.
Agave horrida subsp. perotensis is a succulent plant that forms a solitary compact rosette of pale green to dark green leaves with large brown spines and margins on the new leaves that turn grey-white with age. The rosette grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and 3 feet (90 cm) in diameter. Leaves are up to 16 inches (40 cm) long and 3.2 inches (8 cm) wide. Flowers are purple to yellowish-red or green and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long. They appear densely arranged in a spiral at the upper third of a slender, tapering, up to 16.4 feet (5 m) tall inflorescence. During flowering, the rosette often starts to produce offsets.
This subspecies is slightly larger than Agave horrida subsp. horrida with a denser rosette bearing more and darker leaves. It was once distributed erroneously by the International Succulent Introductions as Agave obscura.
The subspecific epithet "perotensis (per-oh-TEN-sis)" means "Of or from Perote" and refers to Perote, a city, and municipality in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
How to Grow and Care for Agave horrida subsp. perotensis
Light: Like all Agaves, this plant requires full sun to partial shade. If growing A. horrida subsp. perotensis indoors, choose a bright, sunny window with as much sun as possible. From spring to fall, it loves going outside.
Soil: A. horrida subsp. perotensis will tolerate most soils as long as they have good drainage, but its preference is sandy or rocky soil.
Hardiness: During the growing season, it likes warm temperatures, while in winter, when resting, this succulent enjoys cooler temperatures. A. horrida subsp. perotensis can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.
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. horrida subsp. perotensis 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. horrida subsp. perotensis 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: A. horrida subsp. perotensis is usually propagated by seeds, or offsets often produced during the flowering process. Sow the seeds in spring. The best time to remove the offsets is in spring and summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.
Toxicity of Agave horrida subsp. perotensis
A. horrida subsp. perotensis is not toxic to humans, but it may be mildly poisonous to children and pets.
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