Variegated American Agave
Agave americana 'Variegata'
Variegated American Agave foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 6 feet
Flower Height: 15 feet
Spread: 10 feet
Hardiness Zone: 8a
Other Names: Century Plant
As an ornamental, this variety is usually grown in rock gardens, cactus and succulent gardens; generally smaller when grown in containers; may take decades to bloom, then plant dies; it is very spiny so not good along walkways but makes a great accent
Variegated American Agave features bold spikes of chartreuse cup-shaped flowers rising above the foliage in mid summer. It has bluish-green foliage with creamy white stripes. The succulent sword-like leaves remain bluish-green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Variegated American Agave is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its strikingly bold and coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced landscape composition.
This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Variegated American Agave is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Variegated American Agave will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity extending to 15 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by multiplication of the underground bulbs; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Variegated American Agave makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.