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Desert Agave

Agave deserti

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Desert Agave (Agave deserti) at Roger's Gardens

Desert Agave

Desert Agave

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  24 inches

Flower Height:  10 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  7a

Other Names:  Century Plant

Description:

A rosettte forming succulent producing thick, upright, powder blue leaves with sharp spines ; towering spikes with clusters of bright yellow flowers when rosettes mature; a great visual accent for rockeries or dry gardens

Ornamental Features

Desert Agave features bold spikes of yellow cup-shaped flowers rising above the foliage from early to mid summer. It has attractive powder blue foliage. The succulent sword-like leaves are highly ornamental and remain powder blue throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Desert Agave is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

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;

  • Suckering
  • Spiny

Desert Agave is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Desert Agave will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity extending to 10 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. 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 a low-water garden or xeriscape application. 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 species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by multiplication of the underground bulbs.

Desert 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.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Rock  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features