Create Your Garden

Agave xylonacantha (Saw Leaf Agave)

Century Plant, Saw Leaf Agave, Wooden Thorn Agave

Agave xylonacantha
Agave xylonacantha, Agave vilmoriniana ‘Stained Glass’, Yucca queretaroensis, Agave ‘Blue Glow’
Agave xylonacantha

Agave xylonacantha, commonly known as the Saw Leaf Agave or Wooden Thorn Agave is a distinctive and visually striking succulent, known for its unique leaf shape and saw-toothed margins. It’s a popular choice for gardeners seeking a drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plant with a strong architectural presence.

Agave xylonacantha: An In-depth Look

Agave xylonacantha is notable for its unique, angular leaves and saw-toothed margins. It forms a beautiful, sprawling rosette that is both architectural and dramatic.

Native: Native to eastern-central Mexico, it thrives in semi-arid environments, typically found in rocky terrain and grasslands.

Plant Type and Habit: This perennial succulent has a rosette growth habit. It grows in a sprawling manner, with leaves extending outward from the center.

Size: It typically reaches about 2-3 feet in height (60-90 cm) and can spread up to 4-5 feet wide (120-150 cm). The size can vary depending on growing conditions.

Flowers: Agave xylonacantha produces a tall flower spike, up to 10-20 feet (3-6 meters), with yellow-green flowers. However, like many agaves, it flowers once in its lifetime, usually after several years of growth. Following flowering, it produces capsule-like fruits that contain seeds. The parent plant often dies post-flowering.

Foliage: The foliage is distinctive, featuring thick, gray-green leaves with angular, sprawling shapes. Each leaf is edged with sharp, curving teeth giving the plant a rugged appearance. The leaves also display short spines at their tips.

Uses: Commonly used as an ornamental plant in gardens, especially in rockeries, xeriscapes, and as a dramatic focal point in landscaping. Also popular in container gardening.

Hardiness: It’s hardy in USDA zones 8-11, preferring warm, dry climates.

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

Wildlife:The flowers attract pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds.

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; it’s a slow-growing, contained plant suitable for controlled garden environments.

Benefits: Offers low maintenance, drought tolerance, and a unique, sculptural presence in the landscape.

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 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 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 4' - 5'
(120cm - 150cm)
Spacing 48" - 60"
(120cm - 150cm)
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 Mediterranean Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Coastal Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Agave
Guides with
Agave
Not sure which Agave to pick?
Compare Now

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 x leopoldii (Leopold Agave)
Agave vilmoriniana ‘Stained Glass’ (Octopus Agave)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Succulents
Cold-Hardy Agaves for Your Garden
Agave
Pretty Agaves for Your Containers
Great Perennials as Companion Plants for Your Succulents
Great Ornamental Grasses as Companion Plants for Your Succulents
Great Shrubs as Companion Plants for Your Succulents
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.
Buy Plants

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 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 4' - 5'
(120cm - 150cm)
Spacing 48" - 60"
(120cm - 150cm)
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 Mediterranean Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Coastal Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Agave
Guides with
Agave
Not sure which Agave to pick?
Compare Now

Gardening Ideas

Plant Calculator

How many Agave xylonacantha (Saw Leaf Agave) do I need for my garden?

Input your garden space dimensions

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Agave xylonacantha (Saw Leaf Agave) N/A Buy Plants

Please Login to Proceed

You Have Reached The Free Limit, Please Subscribe to Proceed

Subscribe to Gardenia

To create additional collections, you must be a paid member of Gardenia
  • Add as many plants as you wish
  • Create and save up to 25 garden collections
Become a Member

Plant Added Successfully

You have Reached Your Limit

To add more plants, you must be a paid member of our site Become a Member

Update Your Credit
Card Information

Cancel

Create a New Collection

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

    You have been subscribed successfully

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Find your Hardiness Zone

    Find your Heat Zone

    Find your Climate Zone