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Agave pumila (Miniature Agave)

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Scientific Name

Agave pumila De Smet ex Baker

Common Names

Miniature Agave, Dwarf Century Plant

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave

Description

Agave pumila is an unusual, slow-growing Agave that has dimorphic stages, growing for many years in juvenile form as a small suckering rosette. The individual rosettes are up to 4 inches (10 cm) across. The leaves are short, smooth, stubby, gray-green, deeply concave above and check-striped below and with small weak marginal and terminal spines. As the plant matures it forms a few-leafed, open and solitary rosette that has leaves that are paler and elongated, up to to 18 inches (45 cm) long, with white, leathery margins and a stout, short, dark brown terminal spine.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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 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 plant 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 pumila is not known to have ever flowered and in fact, its entire origin is quite a mystery.

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