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Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ (Giant Agave)

Giant Agave 'Medio Picta'

Agave salmiana var. ferox 'Medio Picta', Agave salmiana var. ferox, Succulent, Agave, Variegated Agave
Agave salmiana var. ferox 'Medio Picta', Agave salmiana var. ferox, Succulent, Agave, Variegated Agave
Agave salmiana var. ferox 'Medio Picta', Agave salmiana var. ferox, Succulent, Agave, Variegated Agave
Agave salmiana var. ferox 'Medio Picta', Agave salmiana var. ferox, Succulent, Agave, Variegated Agave
Agave salmiana var. ferox 'Medio Picta', Agave salmiana var. ferox, Succulent, Agave, Variegated Agave

Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ is a versatile and visually striking plant that offers numerous benefits for gardeners and landscape designers. Its distinctive appearance, combined with its low maintenance needs and adaptability, make it a standout choice for a variety of garden settings. Whether used as a focal point in a rock garden, a striking addition to a succulent border, or a dramatic feature in a large container, this Agave is sure to capture attention and admiration.

Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’: An In-depth Look

Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’, commonly known as the Giant Agave ‘Medio Picta’, is a stunning and imposing succulent that stands out due to its size and striking variegation. This variety features large, rosette-forming leaves with a unique color pattern: a central band of creamy yellow or white flanked by dark green margins. The leaves are thick, fleshy, and rigid, with prominent spines along the edges and a sharp terminal spine at the tip. The overall effect is both dramatic and elegant, making this Agave a focal point in any landscape.

Native: Agave salmiana var. ferox is native to the arid regions of central and eastern Mexico. It typically grows in rocky soils and on slopes, where it has adapted to withstand harsh environmental conditions.

Plant Type and Habit: This plant is a perennial succulent with a rosette-forming habit. The plant grows in a symmetrical and expansive rosette, with leaves radiating outward from a central point.

Size: Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ can reach an impressive size. Mature plants typically grow to a height of 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) and can spread 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) wide. This substantial size makes it a commanding presence in any garden or landscape.

Flowers: The flowering process of Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ is a remarkable event. The plant produces a tall flower spike that can reach up to 20 feet (6 meters) in height. The spike is adorned with clusters of yellow-green flowers, which are attractive to pollinators. This succulent is monocarpic, meaning it flowers only once in its lifetime. The bloom time generally occurs after 15 to 25 years of growth. Once the plant flowers, it will eventually die, but it often produces offsets or “pups” around its base that can continue to grow.

Foliage: The foliage of Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ is its most distinctive feature. The large, arching leaves are variegated with a central band of creamy yellow or white and dark green margins. The leaves are thick and fleshy, providing the plant with the ability to store water during dry periods. Each leaf is lined with prominent spines along the edges and ends in a sharp terminal spine, adding to its dramatic appearance.

Uses: This Agave is primarily used as an ornamental plant in landscape design. Its striking foliage and impressive size make it an excellent focal point in xeriscapes, rock gardens, and large containers. It can also be used as a natural barrier or security plant due to its formidable spines.

Hardiness: Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ is hardy in USDA zones 8 to 11. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F (-6°C) for short periods but performs best in warm, dry climates. In colder regions, it is advisable to grow this Agave in containers that can be moved indoors during the winter months.

Wildlife: The flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including bees, bats, and hummingbirds. The plant provides a valuable nectar source for these species during its blooming period.

Deer and Rabbit: Deer and rabbits generally avoid this agave due to its tough, spiny leaves and the presence of irritating compounds in its sap.

Drought: Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ is highly drought-tolerant, making it an excellent choice for arid and semi-arid climates. It requires minimal watering once established and thrives in dry conditions. Overwatering should be avoided, as it can lead to root rot and other issues.

Invasiveness: Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ is not considered invasive. It grows slowly and does not spread aggressively. While it may produce offsets, these can be easily managed or transplanted to new locations.

Benefits: Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Medio Picta’ offers striking variegated foliage, low maintenance, high drought tolerance, and deer and rabbit resistance. It attracts pollinators and serves as a dramatic focal point, enhancing garden aesthetics while supporting local biodiversity.

Agave salmiana var. ferox 'Medio Picta', Agave salmiana var. ferox, Succulent, Agave, Variegated Agave

Agave Growing Tips

Light: Prefers full sun to light shade for optimal growth.

Soil: Requires well-draining soil, such as sandy or rocky soil. A cactus or succulent mix is ideal.

Water: Water sparingly; allow the soil to dry completely between waterings. Reduce watering in winter when the plant is dormant.

Fertilizer: Fertilize sparingly, once in spring with a balanced, diluted fertilizer. Over-fertilization can cause leggy growth.

Pruning: Pruning is not necessary; remove dead or damaged leaves as needed. Use gloves to avoid injury from sharp spines.

Propagation: Propagate by removing and replanting offsets. Allow offsets to dry for a few days before planting.

Pests and Diseases: Generally pest-resistant but watch for pests like mealybugs or scale insects. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so ensure proper drainage.

Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 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 4' - 5'
(120cm - 150cm)
Spread 6' - 8'
(180cm - 240cm)
Spacing 72" - 96"
(180cm - 240cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Agave bovicornuta (Cowhorn Agave)
Agave tequilana (Blue Agave)
Agave angustifolia var. marginata (Caribbean Agave)
Agave xylonacantha (Saw Leaf Agave)
Agave x leopoldii (Leopold Agave)
Agave vilmoriniana ‘Stained Glass’ (Octopus Agave)

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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
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 4' - 5'
(120cm - 150cm)
Spread 6' - 8'
(180cm - 240cm)
Spacing 72" - 96"
(180cm - 240cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Patio And Containers
Garden Styles 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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