Just like Yucca plants, these architectural succulents are actually botanical relatives of lilies and often referred to as “woody lilies”. They make bold focal points and feature plants in landscapes and containers.
Most species of agave are native to Mexico, with several also native to Texas. These succulents come in many sizes and colors, with foliage offered up in rosettes. Some species stay very small, while others can reach up to 20-feet in diameter. Most plants need full sun to thrive, but a bit of afternoon shade is tolerated. Once established, plants are very heat and drought tolerant. But even these tough succulents still need some water to look their best. Water once a week in the heat of the summer. Less often in spring and fall and only minimally in winter; winter rainfall typically suffices. Plants may need winter protect in the colder parts of the state.
Use as striking focal points in landscape beds, low-maintenance easements and large containers. Combine with low-water shrubs, perennials and grasses. While there are some dwarf species, most agave grow quite large and can be armed with dangerous spines at the ends and edges of their leaves. It’s best to place them out of the way of pathways or areas frequented by children. You can clip the ends of spines with sharp pruners.
There are many species, varieties and cultivars of Agave available. A. americana, a Texas native, is one of the largest and most beautiful. They can grow up to 6-feet tall with gray-blue and silver foliage. There are several varieties available. Zone 8 Other species good for landscape use include A. bracteosa, A. filifera, A. harvardiana, A. lechuguilla, A. lophantha, A. neomexicana, A. ochahui, A. parryi, A. salmiana, A. scabra, A. schidigera, A. striata, A. victoria-reginae, and A. weberi.
Features: Large pointed or rounded leaves presented in a rosette shape; many foliage colors. Very drought-tolerant and easy to grow. Mature plants blooms on tall spikes in summer months.
Hardiness: zones 7-9