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Agave salmiana var. ferox – Ferocious Pulque Agave


Scientific Name

Agave salmiana var. ferox (K.Koch) Gentry

Common Names

Ferocious Pulque Agave


Agave ferox (basionym), Agave bonnetiana, Agave ragusae

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave


Agave salmiana var. ferox is one of the most amazing species one can grow, reaching up to 11.5 feet (3.5 m) wide. Over time it will produce a an urn-shaped silhouette made up of very broad and well-armed, leaves up to 14 inches (35 cm) wide. The epithet ferox is due to the hard and up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long, apical spines. When the plant matures produces a very tall, up to 30 feet (9 m), candelabra-like spike, with bright yellow blooms. Each plant flowers once, usually after 10 years.

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USDA hardiness zone 8b to 11b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Agave is not a difficult plant to grow. They're slow-growing and dramatic and will even thrive on a bit of neglect. If you're 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're 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's also best to handle your Agave 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


Native to central and southern Mexico.


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