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Agave angustifolia var. marginata (Caribbean Agave)

Variegated Caribbean Agave, Narrow Century Plant, Agave vivipara 'Marginata'

Caribbean Agave, Agave angustifolia var. marginata, Agave vivipara 'Marginata'
Caribbean Agave, Agave angustifolia var. marginata, Agave vivipara 'Marginata'
Caribbean Agave, Agave angustifolia var. marginata, Agave vivipara 'Marginata'
Caribbean Agave, Agave angustifolia var. marginata, Agave vivipara 'Marginata'

Agave angustifolia var. marginata, also known as Caribbean Agave, is a visually striking plant, known for its variegated foliage and large size. It’s an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plant that adds a dramatic element to the landscape.

Agave angustifolia var. marginata: An In-depth Look

This Agave variety is noted for its striking, sword-shaped leaves and bold variegation. It forms a large, symmetrical rosette, making it a dramatic addition to any landscape.

Native: It’s native to Mexico and Central America, adapted to arid and semi-arid climates.

Plant Type and Habit: Caribbean Agave is a perennial succulent with a rosette growth habit. It typically grows as a solitary plant but may produce offsets.

Size: The plant can reach about 3-4 feet in height (90-120 cm) and spread up to 4-6 feet wide (120-180 cm), with leaves that can grow several feet long.

Flowers: It produces a very tall flower spike, up to 10 feet (3 meters), with numerous greenish-yellow flowers. However, flowering is infrequent and often occurs once in the plant’s lifetime. Flowering generally happens after many years of growth, often when the plant is over a decade old. After flowering, it produces capsule-like fruits containing seeds. The parent plant typically dies after flowering.

Foliage: The leaves are long, narrow, and stiff, with creamy white edges and a green center. They have thin marginal teeth along the margins and a conical terminal spine at the tips.

Uses: Commonly used in xeriscaping, rock gardens, and as an ornamental plant in large containers. Its striking appearance is well-suited for focal points in gardens.

Hardiness: It’s hardy in USDA zones 9-11, preferring warm, dry climates.

Toxicity: The sap of Agave plants can be irritating to the skin and toxic if ingested.

Wildlife: Attracts pollinators like bees and hummingbirds during its rare blooming period.

Deer and Rabbit: Generally resistant to deer and rabbits due to its tough, spiny foliage.

Drought: Highly drought-tolerant, requiring minimal water, making it suitable for arid environments and water-wise gardening.

Invasiveness: Not considered invasive but should be planted with care due to its sharp spines and large size at maturity.

Benefits: Offers architectural interest with its bold foliage and variegation. It’s low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, making it suitable for water-wise gardening.

Agave Growing Tips

Light: Thrives in full sun, ideally receiving at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Can tolerate partial shade but may grow slower.

Soil: Requires well-draining soil, preferably a cactus or succulent mix. Avoid soil that retains moisture for extended periods.

Water: Water sparingly; the soil should be allowed to dry out completely between waterings. Reduce watering in the winter during the plant’s dormant period.

Fertilizer: Use a diluted, low-nitrogen fertilizer designed for succulents during the growing season (spring and summer). Fertilize sparingly; over-fertilization can lead to weak, spindly growth.

Pruning: Generally requires little to no pruning. Remove dead or damaged leaves as necessary, using protective gloves.

Propagation: Propagate by offsets or “pups” that grow around the base of the plant. Remove pups in spring or early summer and plant in well-draining soil.

Pests and Diseases: Watch for pests like mealybugs, aphids, or scale insects. Susceptible to root rot in overly moist conditions. proper soil and watering are crucial.

Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Agave
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spread 4' - 6'
(120cm - 180cm)
Spacing 48" - 72"
(120cm - 180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, 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 xylonacantha (Saw Leaf Agave)
Agave x leopoldii (Leopold Agave)
Agave vilmoriniana ‘Stained Glass’ (Octopus Agave)

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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 9 - 11
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Agave
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spread 4' - 6'
(120cm - 180cm)
Spacing 48" - 72"
(120cm - 180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, 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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