Agave Plant

About

The agave plant was originally found growing in Mexico, the southwest United States, and central South America. This is an impressive looking, succulent plant that grows well both indoors and outdoors. Because some varieties have spines on the edges of their leaves, many people have the misconception that an agave plant is a type of cactus; but it isn’t; it’s a member of the Asparagaceae family and is closely related to a lily and an amaryllis plant.

 Description

An agave plant comes in all different sizes and shapes; some are extremely  large and belong growing outside while the smaller varieties make perfect indoor potted houseplants. Agave plants are succulentLearn the definition of a succulent plant and why they are called a "fat plant."s with multi-layered rosettes of thick, fleshy, leaves. The short, thick stem is often hidden by the large, leathery leaves. If there are children and pets in the house, avoid purchasing agave plants that have sharp, pointed leaves with spiny margins. The sap in the agave leaves is very irritating and the spines and sharp points are painful if they puncture your skin. It takes many, many years for an agave plant to flower, especially when grown indoors. Some varieties may eventually produce a very tall stalk with clusters of flowers at the top. You may not want your agave plant to bloom since, strangely, they often die after flowering.

Agave Plant Varieties

There are over 450 varieties of  agave plants. When selecting a plant for your home, choose one that will not outgrow your room.  Here are some of the most popular:

Agave attenuata (Foxtail Agave)

Agave Americana (Century plant)

Agave Queen Victoria

Agave Filifera

Agave Verschaffeltii

                                

A. Filifera                          A. Verschaffeltii               A. marginata Americana          A. Foxtail

 

Quick Care Tips for an Agave Plant

Indoor agave plants need very bright lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light. and even some direct sun

Over watering is the easiest way to kill an agave plant

No need to mist just provide good air circulation around the plant

Do not rush to repot

Easily propagated using the offsetsHouseplant offsets, or pups as they are sometimes called, are the baby plants that form at the base of certain houseplants. Plant offsets can be used to easily propagate new plants. Wait until the plant offsets have grown at least several inches, then gently detach them from the "mother"plant. Hopefully the plant offsets will have a few roots of their own at this point. Plant the offsets in a small container and keep the plant barely moist but never soggy at all times. that grow around the base of the plant.

Yellow leaves mean the plant has been over watered and the roots are damaged

 

Is an Agave Plant Poisonous

The sap of an agave plant causes skin irritations and the sharp, pointed tips and serrated edges on the leaves can cause painful sores.  Read more about common houseplants that can be dangerous in my book Don’t Feed Me to You Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants

FAQ

Why Do My Agave Houseplants Keep Dying? They Grow Well Outside but Die Indoors. I Really Like Them and Want to Grow One Indoors.

Here are some general reasons why your agave plants may be dying: temperature is too hot or too cold, soil doesn’t drain quickly, over- watering, planting the agave too deep in the pot, not enough light.

How Do I Propagate an Agave?

The best way to propagate an agave plant is by offsets. After you remove the offsets from the “mother” plant, allow them to sit out for a few days before planting them. This allows the offset roots to dry out and prevents root rot from killing the new plants. Avoid planting the offsets too deep, this prevents stem rot. Indoor agave plants rarely produce offsets so this advice is primarily for outdoor agave plants.

What Are the “reddish Orange Sores” on the Leaves of My Agave Plant?

The reddish orange sores on the leaves of your agave plant are caused by a plant fungus called Anthracnose. Keep the leaves dry, the humidity low, provide good air circulation, & cut off the diseased leaves so the fungus doesn’t spread to the rest of the plant.

Why Did My Plant Leaves Get Discolored When I Moved It Outside During the Summer? I Thought Agave Plants Liked Lots of Sun? Is This a Plant Disease?

I don’t think your agave plant has a disease. Your agave plant leaves became discolored because the plant was acclimated to indoor light so the intense sun & wind outside caused the problem. When you move a plant from inside to outside or vice versa, you should always do it gradually, increasing the time by a few hours each day.