The Century Plant ‘Agave Americana’

Agave Americana Image

It is commonly known as the American Aloe though it isn’t an Aloe proper. Agave Americana is one of the spiral succulents with leaves on its rosettes forming in the Fibonacci sequence. It occurs in habitats in Mexico and some parts of the Southern United States. 

Family:Agavaceae/Asparagaceae
Genus:Agave
Scientific Name:Angave Americana
Other Names:American Aloe, Century Plant, Maguey
Hardiness Zone:USDA Zone 8-11  
Toxicity:It is mildly toxic, containing oxalate crystals on the leaves. These can irritate when touched.
Agave Americana Summary

Agave Americana Physical Characteristics

Its leaves can grow up to 3-5 feet in habitat and spread to 10 feet. The leaves get an intense blue-green hue. They are large and covered with farina to protect them from getting burned by the extreme heat. It is a succulent that produces many pups, especially around flowering time.

In terms of flowering time, this succulent doesn’t often bloom. It can take 10 years or more to make it flourish, so it is easy to understand why it was called ‘Century Plant’. When it goes bloom, the tall, yellow flowers will surprise everyone when they catch its sight. They are shaped like bells or funnels. After blooming, the main part will die and begin a new lifecycle. The flowers fade away and drop seeds into the soil for the new plant.

Plant Physical Part of Agave Americana Image

Its roots hold the health of this succulent. They spread out and don’t go deep into the soil. Thanks to this structure, it can easily absorb the water from rain or when you water. Besides, these roots can hold this succulent and find the water source if it suffers a long dry period.

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Angave Americana Care

Watering: It requires regular watering to facilitate growth, especially during the warmer seasons, from spring to autumn. However, it would be best to water it sparingly to prevent waterlogging. In hot weather, you might need to water more often, maybe once a week. Depending on the succulent current health, it could be rare in cooler weather.

Soil: The pottage you grow should have high gravel or pumice to facilitate drainage. Well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes reduce the possibility of overwatering since the substrate won’t retain water. Use the soak and dry watering method to water it. It is the easiest way to avoid root rot.

Fertilizers: You can feed the plant once yearly with a slow-release fertilizer. The feeding is best done at the beginning of spring because the plant will utilize the fertilizer well throughout the growing season. Give it fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphorus with just a little nitrogen.

Plant Care of Agave Americana Image

Light: You should keep your plant under full sun or partial shade if the sun is too hot. Keeping it under low light reduces its leaves’ darkness, slows growth, and makes the plant leggy while reducing rosette density. The more intense the sunlight, the more intense the leaf’s hue. The ideal length of time to put it under light is 6 to 8 hours daily.

Temperatures: It prefers temperatures between 70oF and 90oF (21oC to 32oC) during the day. It is okay if the temperatures drop down a bit. But, when winter comes, please protect it by placing it indoors, providing warmth for it. Or, if the climate is too hot, place it under partial shade as I said above to avoid leaf burning.

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

Agave Americana Growth

This plant is suitable for hanging baskets, including specimen planting, succulent gardens, poolside, landscaping, and face containers. You can propagate it by plant division or offsets if it produces any.  

It rarely needs pruning, but you should remove any dead or drooping leaves at the base of the plant to keep it neat. The plant will likely outgrow its pot occasionally, which will need repotting. It is susceptible to pests you should look for, including mealybugs, thrips, eriophyid mites, and scale. Control them using organic systemic or contact pesticides.

Commonly asked questions about Agave Americana

A thread from u/garretct: “Hello! I recently moved to Arizona and bought a house. I have a Agave Americana (I think) in my yard. I am worried about it because it looks to be turning diagonally and also a couple of the offshoots are not as rigid as others. It also looks like a separate one is growing underneath, and I am wondering if it is harming the larger? Please help me figure out how to save the plant and make it healthy :)”

Answer: Arizona is a hot and dry area. You can place it under partial shade to avoid harsh sunlight. Your succulent also is underwatering. You should water it more often to help its leaves more soft but notice the amount of water to avoid overwatering. It is essential to check your succulent daily to understand it thoroughly. Hope to see your succulent get better.

Before you leave …

You can see all the plants from the Agave genus on Succulent City on this page. Or the previous/next plant:

Succulent City chief editor

ABOUT ME

Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents