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Agave 7 Gallon

Regular price $100.00 USD
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Agave plants (Agave spp.) generally are succulents with large leaves that end in spiny tips. There's a lot of variety in the agave genus. There are large, stiff specimens that can grow to 10 feet or more in height and width. And there are the small, dish-sized agaves, as well as a few agave species with soft leaves and no spines. Agave foliage tends toward a blue-green in hardier varieties and a gray-green in warm-climate varieties. Some are variegated with gold or white markings.


Agave Care

Agaves are grown for their dramatic foliage, not their flowers. One large agave is all you need to make a sculptural focal point in the garden. Just make sure there is plenty of room to walk around it, so no one accidentally brushes against the spiny tips. Agaves also can make a nice border grouping and provide textural contrast with other plants. Pairing them with ornamental grasses can soften their hard edges. Plus, small agave species are excellent for containers, indoors or outside.

Agaves thrive on neglect. The key is to make sure they have well-draining soil and ample sunlight. When grown in an environment they like, they need very little supplemental care from you.

Light

Agave plants prefer a spot with full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. But they can tolerate a little shade. The hotter the climate is, the more shade they can handle.

Soil

Agave plants will tolerate any well-draining soil, but their preference is rocky or sandy soil. Poor soil drainage can lead to root rot, which can kill a plant. Moreover, they like a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH.


Water

Mature agave plants are very drought tolerant. You generally only need to water them if you've had a long stretch without rainfall and the soil is completely dry. However, when you are first establishing a plant, water it every four or five days for the first month. Then, water once a week, and gradually space watering to every other week, depending on rainfall.


Temperature and Humidity

The majority of agave plants can't tolerate frost and only can grow as far north as USDA growing zones 8 or 9. But there are some, such as Agave parryi, that are reliably perennial to zone 5. Moreover, most agaves prefer a climate with low humidity. High humidity can lead to crown rot on the plant.


Fertilizer 

Feeding typically isn't necessary for agave plants. Feeding encourages flowering, which you don’t want to happen too soon because most agave plants die after flowering.

Potting and Repotting Agave

As with many succulent plants, agaves have shallow roots. So you can grow them in a shallow container because they don't need much soil. Just make sure the container is sturdy and can anchor the weight of the plant. An unglazed clay pot is ideal because it will allow excess soil moisture to evaporate through its walls. Also, make sure the container has ample drainage holes.


Use a well-draining potting mix made for succulents. Water the container about once a week in the summer and monthly in the winter. Wait until the soil is dry a few inches down before watering.


Plan to repot your agave plant every couple of years as it matures. The best time to do so is in the spring or summer. Use a slightly larger container and fresh potting mix. Once it's mature, you can leave the plant in the same container, but plan to refresh the potting mix every couple of years.


Overwintering

When grown outside of their hardiness zones, agaves must be kept indoors for the winter. Bring them in before any threat of frost in the weather forecast. Keep the container by your brightest window, and make sure it's not in the path of any cold drafts. Water sparingly throughout the winter. A good rule of thumb is to water just enough to keep the leaves plump.


Common Pests

Agaves generally have very few problems with pests and diseases. However, the agave snout weevil can burrow into a plant’s center to lay its eggs, causing the plant to collapse.2 Unfortunately, you probably won’t notice this until it’s too late to save the plant. So instead remove the plant to avoid the pests spreading to any other agaves you might have.


Common Problems With Agave

When grown in the conditions they like, agaves rarely have problems. But some environmental issues can cause a plant to struggle.


Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves can be a sign of the agave snout weevil. But they also can be due to incorrect watering. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot. And consequently, the leaves won't be able to get moisture and nutrients from the soil, so they end up drooping. Make sure you are allowing sufficient time between waterings for the top few inches of soil to dry out.


Leaves Turning Yellow

Overwatering also is a common culprit for yellowing leaves on agave plants. Yellow leaves also can be due to insufficient sunlight, which causes the plant to lose its vibrancy. Monitor your plant throughout the day to make sure it's not being shaded for long stretches. If so, consider moving it to a sunnier spot.

***Note: The sap of agave is toxic both to people and pets