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Thread-leaf Agave

Agave filifera ssp. schidigera

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Thread-leaf Agave (Agave filifera ssp. schidigera) at Roger's Gardens

Thread-leaf Agave

Thread-leaf Agave

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  12 inches

Flower Height:  4 feet

Spread:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  8a

Other Names:  Century Plant

Description:

A smaller, non-clumping rosette of green, sword-like leaves that are covered with white threads; produces a towering spike with greenish-brown flowers when rosette matures; a great visual accent for rockeries or dry gardens

Ornamental Features

Thread-leaf Agave features bold spikes of green cup-shaped flowers with brown overtones rising above the foliage in early spring. It has attractive green foliage with white stripes. The succulent sword-like leaves are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Thread-leaf 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;

  • Spiny

Thread-leaf Agave is recommended for the following landscape applications;

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

Planting & Growing

Thread-leaf Agave will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 18 inches. 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 not originally from North America. It can be propagated by multiplication of the underground bulbs.

Thread-leaf Agave makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. 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