Types of Agave Plants: Striking Species With Different Qualities

Before you know about the different types of Agave plants, it is better to get a glimpse of what these plants actually are. Agave plants are a Monocots genus that belongs to America’s hot and arid regions. The genus is well-known for succulents and xerophytic species of plants that have thick fleshy leaves and striking appearance. These plants are suitable for indoor and outdoor landscapes and can be utilized as borders or hedges. As per research, there are around 200 different agave plant species present in the world.

Agave Plant Type

Now when you look at the plant, you will see that the stems of agave plants are usually short which makes them appear stemless. The thick, sword-like leaves with pointed ends stores the water for its existence. Most of the species grow real slow and they can live up to 60 years before getting ready to flower. This is the reason why some of the species of agave plants are known as century plants. The flower is said to bloom once in a lifetime and those blooms can be seen in the tall spikes that are usually lantern-shaped. 

Characteristics of Agave Plants

  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Botanical Name: Agave
  • Genus: Agave
  • USDA Zone: 8-11
  • Size: 1–20 ft. tall, 1–10 ft. wide
  • Temperature: 13°C – 38°C
  • Soil: Sandy, Well-drained
  • Water: 2-3 times every month in the summers
  • Light: Full Sun/ Partial Sun
  • Toxicity: Toxic if ingested by humans or pets

Types of Agave Plants

There are a lot of agave varieties present but only a few are used to decorate landscapes at homes. Certainly, all these varieties have different qualities and they are used for their individual qualities only. Let’s move ahead and see what the major agave varieties could be for your next house plant.

  1. Blue Agave: The agave plant commonly used to make tequila is the blue agave, also referred to as Agave tequilana. The plant has long, narrow, bluish-green leaves and can reach a height of 7 feet. It also develops a broad stem with a bulb crown. Warm climates are the greatest places to use this kind of agave.
  2. American Century Agave: The American Century agave is a big agave species with a six-foot maximum height. It develops a tall stem with a big bulb at the top and wide, green leaves. The plant usually grows slowly, and the American Century can take up to ten years to achieve maturity.
  3. Octopus Agave: The plant’s foliage is ideal for gardens and pots alike and looks like an octopus’s tentacles. The leaves tips curl inward, giving it an extremely odd but lovely appearance. The plant needs around 10 years to produce beautiful yellow flowers that are atop a spike that is between 10 and 20 feet tall.
  4. ‘Compacta’ Queen Victoria Agave: This Queen Victoria agave, which grows slowly, only reaches a width of 12 inches. This species is very sought-after due to its glossy, dark green leaves with dazzling white borders. In addition, unlike many other agave species, it is one of the smallest agave plants native to Mexico but does not develop offsets. When planted in groups of three or five, the plant looks fantastic.
  5. Cream Spike Agave: The Cream Spike Agave is a charming succulent that produces little stemless leaves that range in color from olive green to blue-green and have light yellow to cream-colored borders as well as long spines and short, dark brown marginal thorns. At the tip and bottom of the leaves, the margins occasionally take on a reddish tint. Rosettes can reach heights of 4 inches (10 cm) and a diameter of 6 inches (15 cm).
  6. Desert Agave: For those who desire an agave that will flourish in hot, dry regions, a desert agave is a popular option. This species can withstand high and low water levels and is highly robust. The Desert agave is a unique plant that can reach a height of 12 feet. Long, spiky leaves and a greyish-green trunk distinguish this species.
  7. Caribbean Agave: For people who desire an agave that will bloom quickly, the Caribbean agave is a popular option. The succulent classified as Caribbean agave is indigenous to Mexico and Central America. It needs regular watering sessions and grows best in arid climates and full sunlight. The leaves of the Caribbean agave are long, thin, and grey-green in appearance.
  8. Moonshine Agave: Agave Moonshine also referred to as Moonshine Agave is an exotic agave species with soft blue and green color leaves with red edges. The smooth leaves and clumping rosettes makes it landscape-friendly agave species. The species grows well in full to partial sun and requires frequent watering during springs and summers.
  9. Smooth Agave: Agave Desmettiana also referred to as smooth agave hails from Mexico. The plant is known as a dwarf agave plant and has a similar appearance to the octopus agave. The plant enjoys full sun shade and thrives well in the filtered shade with well-drained, and non-fertile soil. However, the plant has less watering needs and it is nearly drought tolerant.
  10. Blue Flame Agave: Agave shawii and Agave attenuata were crossed to create the striking clumping plant known as Blue Flame agave. It has long, beautifully tapered blue-green leaves that can reach heights of 3-5 feet and can be as wide. The plant grows slowly but may tolerate full-day light exposure. Additionally, it grows well in well-drained soil and needs little water in the summer.

If you are looking for a stunning plant to add more colors and make your landscape more picturesque, Agave plants are a good viable option. You have a lot of varieties when you look at the types of agave plants. But the most popular agave varieties are the Century plant, Spanish dagger, and Blue agave. Another reason to get an agave plant is that they are really easy to maintain and they thrive easily in a variety of atmospheres. Everything about the plant favors the owner and there is no reason why you should not get one for your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Why do the Agave plants die once they bloom?

Agave plants use an enormous amount of energy in blooming the branch, growing, and reaching their maximum height after this period the plant dies. 

Q2: What is the best place for an Agave plant in the house?

Agave plants require a lot of sunlight, so when planted indoors choose a window that receives bright sunlight.

Q3: What causes problems for the Agave plant?

When exposed to too much moisture and humidity, the agave plants are susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections. Other problems include root rot and yellow leaves which happens because of improper drainage and overwatering.

By Greenkosh