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Agave americana AGM

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© RHS 2003

Characteristics

Plant type

Cactus/Succulent

Habit

Clump-forming

Resilience

Hardiness

H2 (tender - cool or frost-free greenhouse)

Colour

Flower

Green and Yellow in Summer

Foliage

Green and Grey/Silver in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

1-1.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

10-20 years


Preferred common name

century plant

Family

Asparagaceae


Agave can be perennial or monocarpic succulents, forming rosettes of usually rigid, fleshy, spiny-edged leaves, with funnel-shaped flowers in racemes or panicles often much taller than the rosettes

A. americana is an evergreen perennial forming handsome rosettes of spiny-edged, grey-green leaves. Panicles to 8m in length, of greenish-yellow flowers 8cm in length, are produced only by old plants

Other common names

  • American aloe
  • maguey
  • Mexican soap plant

Synonym(s)

  • Agave gracilispina

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow under glass in a standard cactus compost, in bright, filtered light. When in growth water moderately and feed every two or three weeks with a balanced liquid feed. Keep almost dry in the winter

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid or Neutral
  • Loam or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by offsets taken in spring or autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Architectural, City/Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Patio/Container Plants or Mediterranean Climate Plants


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be attacked by scale insects

Diseases

Generally disease free