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Agave ovatifolia (Whale’s Tongue Agave)

Whale's Tongue Agave, Whale's Tongue Century Plant

Agave ovatifolia, Whale's Tongue Agave, Whale's Tongue Century Plant, Blue agave, Gray Agave, Drought tolerant plant, Cold hardy agave, Hardy agave
Agave ovatifolia, Whale's Tongue Agave, Whale's Tongue Century Plant, Blue agave, Gray Agave, Drought tolerant plant, Cold hardy agave, Hardy agave
Agave ovatifolia, Whale's Tongue Agave, Whale's Tongue Century Plant, Blue agave, Gray Agave, Drought tolerant plant, Cold hardy agave, Hardy agave
Agave ovatifolia, Whale's Tongue Agave, Whale's Tongue Century Plant, Blue agave, Gray Agave, Drought tolerant plant, Cold hardy agave, Hardy agave

Surprisingly cold hardy, Agave ovatifolia (Whale’s Tongue Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a solitary rounded rosette of thick, broad, slightly cupped, gray to powdery-blue leaves. Adding interesting texture and interest year-round, the leaves are lined with small teeth along their margins and tipped with a long terminal spine. Mature plants (over 10 years) flower only once. They are topped with a magnificent flowering spike that can reach 14 ft. (4m), and bears dense clusters of yellow-green flowers. The flowering rosette dies after flowering. While this Agave doesn’t produce offsets, like many Agave species, it does reproduce via seed and bulbils after flowering.

  • Grows up to 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) and 4-6 ft. wide (120-180 cm). May reach 14 ft. (4 m) with flower stalk. 
  • Easily grown in well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Drought tolerant once established but grows much larger when given regular irrigation. 
  • Great for coastal gardens, city gardens, rock gardens, succulent gardens or Mediterranean gardens. Ideal as an accent plant in sunny borders or in decorative containers.
  • 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.
  • Propagate by seed in early spring
  • Use caution, safety glasses, long sleeves, long pants, well covered shoes, and gloves when cutting this plant.
  • Native to the Nuevo León region in northeastern 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 7 - 11
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Agave
Common names Agave, Whale's Tongue 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 72" (180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, City and Courtyard, 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 angustifolia var. marginata (Caribbean Agave)
Agave xylonacantha (Saw Leaf Agave)
Agave x leopoldii (Leopold Agave)

Recommended Companion Plants

Senecio mandraliscae (Blue Chalksticks)
Sedum nussbaumerianum (Stonecrop)
Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy)
Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ (Blue Fescue)

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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 7 - 11
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Agave
Common names Agave, Whale's Tongue 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 72" (180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, City and Courtyard, 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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