The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Agave

Family: Agavaceae.

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Common name(s): American aloe, Century Plant
Agave Genus of more than 200 species of rosette-forming, mostly monocarpic or sometimes perennial succulents from desert and mountain regions of the Americas. The most popular Agave is the Century Plant, so-called because of the mistaken belief that it flowers only once every 100 years. There are two colorful varietis - Agava americana marginata (green leaves edged with yellow) and Agava americana mediopicta (cream leaves edged with green). Tthese plants produce leaves 3 or 4 ft long, and size make them unsuitable for a ordinary room. Agava victoria-reginae is the best choice - its 6 in. triangular leaves are dark green edged with white.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth from spring to autumn - minimum 50F in winter.Semi-shade or bright light. Provide as much light as possible. Keep compost moist at all time. In winter water very infrequently, once every 1-2 months. No need to mist the leaves. Cuttings root easily. Take stem cuttings in spring or summer. It is vital to let the cuttings dry for a few days before inserting in compost. Water very sparingly and do not cover with polythene or glass. Another propagation method is seed sowing - germination temperature is 70-80 F.
Agave americana L.
Agave americana L.
Agave bracteosa
Agave bracteosa
Agave geminiflora
Agave geminiflora
Agave victoriae-reginae T. Moore.
Agave victoriae-reginae T. Moore.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

David Neff
USA
23rd Apr 2011
I planted an agave plant in my 55 gallon terrarium with other cacti and a Desert Hairy Scorpion and it has taken off and is doing excellent! I use a plant flourescent lamp as well as a reptile heat basking dome for lighting. The substrate is some cacti potting soil mixed with mostly desert sand. I use a tube that runs down to the bottom of the substrate in order to water from the bottom up and I don't water for 3-4 months at a time, never in winter! When I do water I put a couple gallons down through the bottom and the agave takes off with rapid growth. After a year of growth now the agave has rooted throughout the sand and has sprouted 3 new shoots that I have noticed! Very hearty plant in dry and hot climate!
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