Agave vilmoriniana A. Berger
Agave eduardii, Agave mayoensis
Agave vilmoriniana is native to northwest Mexico. It occurs in canyons, forming large colonies on the side of cliffs.
Agave vilmoriniana is a graceful succulent that forms a solitary rosette of narrow gray-green leaves that curve upwards near the base and then backward near the tip, creating an octopus-like shape, hence the common name "Octopus Agave." The rosette grows up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and 6.6 feet (2 m) in diameter. Leaves are 3 feet (90 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide, deeply channeled with very finely serrated margins, tapering to a relatively soft terminal spine.
At the end of its life, after 7 to 15 years, the rosette produces a dense, up to 15 feet (4.5 m) tall raceme of yellow flowers, usually from spring to summer. The flowers are followed by seed pods and numerous bulbils borne in the axils of the bracteoles.
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. On the other hand, if you are the type of person who likes to set it and forget it, and you have a sunny window, Agave might be the way to go. Be aware that some 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, Agaves do not need to be repotted every year. Most species commonly found in cultivation grow very slowly and take a long time to outgrow their pot. It is also best to handle your plants as little as possible since they do not like to be disturbed. When repot, refresh the spent soil with a new potting mix and ensure 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.
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