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Agave americana (Century Plant)

American Aloe, Century Plant, Maguey, Flowering Aloe, Spiked Aloe, Mexican Soap Plant, Agave gracilispina

AGM Award
Agave Americana, American Aloe, Century Plant, Maguey, Flowering Aloe, Spiked Aloe
Agave Americana, American Aloe, Century Plant, Maguey, Flowering Aloe, Spiked Aloe
Agave Americana, American Aloe, Century Plant, Maguey, Flowering Aloe, Spiked Aloe

Incredibly beautiful and majestic, Agave americana (Century Plant) is a very large, evergreen perennial forming handsome rosettes of thick, spiny-edged, blue-green leaves, up to 6 ft. long (180 cm). The older leaves often gracefully arch down, suggesting motion, which makes the garden even more intriguing. Mature plants (at least 10 years old) are topped with a magnificent flower stalk that can reach 15 ft. (4m50), and bears large greenish-yellow flowers. This desert plant makes a dramatic focal point or accent and can be used in decorative pots away from foot traffic.

  • Winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Grows with an upright habit up to 3-6 ft. tall (90-180 cm) and 6-10 ft. wide (180-300 cm).
  • Easily grown in slightly acidic, sandy or gravelly, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade better than some other agaves. Additional water in dry summer months will encourage growth, but do not overwater, especially in clay soils, since too much moisture could cause the roots to rot. Keep in a frost-free area in winter and put it out on the patio or balcony in summer. Extremely heat and drought tolerant.
  • Great for beds and borders, city gardens, coastal gardens, rock gardens, succulent gardens or Mediterranean gardens. Ideal as an accent plant in sunny borders or in decorative containers! Effective as hedges.
  • Plant away from foot traffic: the needle-sharp spines on the leaf tips can be a hazard to humans and pets. Don’t plant this Agave near paths or walkways
  • Attracts hummingbirds and birds but is deer resistant
  • Virtually disease free. Watch for scale insects.
  • Propagation by offsets and by seed.
  • Use caution, safety glasses, long sleeves, long pants, well covered shoes, and gloves when cutting this plant.
  • Native to the southern United States and Mexico

Agave: Plant Care and Growing Guide


Agave plants are popular for landscaping because they are rich in many qualities and have a striking architectural appearance. Here are some tips on how to plant and grow agaves successfully

Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 11
Heat Zones 5 - 12
Climate Zones 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Agave
Common names Agave, Century Plant
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 6'
(90cm - 180cm)
Spread 6' - 10'
(180cm - 3m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants California, United States, Southeast, Louisiana, Southwest, Texas, Arizona
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt
Attracts Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ (Giant Agave)
Agave bovicornuta (Cowhorn Agave)
Agave tequilana (Blue Agave)
Agave angustifolia var. marginata (Caribbean Agave)
Agave xylonacantha (Saw Leaf Agave)
Agave x leopoldii (Leopold Agave)

Recommended Companion Plants

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo)
Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’ (‘Autumn Joy’)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears)
Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy)

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Agave: Plant Care and Growing Guide
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 11
Heat Zones 5 - 12
Climate Zones 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Agave
Common names Agave, Century Plant
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 6'
(90cm - 180cm)
Spread 6' - 10'
(180cm - 3m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants California, United States, Southeast, Louisiana, Southwest, Texas, Arizona
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt
Attracts Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Agave
Guides with
Agave
Not sure which Agave to pick?
Compare Now

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