Agave Americana

The ‘Century Plant’

Agave Americana 'Cornelius'
Agave Americana ‘Cornelius’

Agave Americana or ‘Century Plant’ is originally from Mexico. With its large rosette of thick brightly colored leaves Agave Americana is a very popular landscaping plant.

A number of varieties are available with different growth habits, the smallest being Agave Americana ‘Cornelius’ pictured.

The species will reach around 4 ft in height and up to 12 ft across this is a large agave and makes an impressive addition to the garden. The long leaves can reach up to 6 ft, an attractive blue green. With 1 inch spines along the leaf margins and a longer terminal spine this can be a prickly plant, so best set back from walkways.

Happy to grow for a number of years, eventually it will decide to flower, sending up a tall flower spike that can reach nearly 20 ft in height. The flowers themselves are a yellow to green.

The flowering is when Agave Americana can become a problem depending where it is planted. This plant is a native to South Western America, generally in the drier areas.

It can self seed and in the right conditions will become a weed problem. It also spreads by suckers, so it really is best grown in a container or restricted area.

Avoid planting it along roads and the like in rural areas, or in urban areas near parks unless you are are prepared to remove the flower stalk. Which is not really a problem as you will only need to do this every 10 years or so.

Agave Americana Care

Taking around 10 years to flower in warm climates and a lot longer in cooler areas like all agaves after flowering it will die, however pups will have set and the plant will live on.

In cooler areas try growing in pots or containers in a warm sunny position.

Drainage is important, plants need to almost dry out between watering and in many areas need little to no water at all if grown in the ground.


The only pruning that need to take place is the removal of any dead leaves, along with removal of the flower stalk.

Agave Americana Varieties

  • Agave americana var americana ‘Marginata’ has green leaves with yellow margins
  • Agave americana var. expansa has a more upright habit.
  • Agave americana mediopicta alba has variegated foliage, blue green margins with a clean creamy white stripe. Will reach around 3 – 4 ft. with a 15 ft flower spike. A very attractive variety for a container.
  • gave Americana ‘striata’ is the yellow striped Century Plant, smaller growing to around 4 ft.
  • gave Americana ‘Cornelius is a dwarf form and one of the best for smaller gardens,


Propagation is easy by removing the pups that form at the side of the plant. Also easy by seed.

More info

Agave attenuata
Agave americana
Agave gypsophilla
Agave geminiflora
Agave franzosini

Agave Americana or ‘Century Plant’ are available for sale from the following nurseries

SILVERTHORN RANCH NURSERY – phone: 760-728-9051
1826 S. Alturas St. Fallbrook California 92028
Wholesale growers and online suppliers of Agaves, Cactus, Succulents, Yuccas, Euphorbias, Palms, Golden Barrel cactus, With Cites Permits for export. Assorted sizes 4″ up to 30 gallon box plants

A grand collection of amazing container plants. many Sizes. Wholesale and Mail Order. Order Online. Includes: Agave lechuguilla, Agave paryi, Agave tequilana, Agave victoriae reginae

GARDINO NURSERY Rare & Unusual Plants
Tropical plant nursery that specialising in a wide variety of rare and unusual plants. Shipping is available to retail and wholesale customers nationwide. Our site also contains lots of useful information on a variety of tropical plants (over 500 varieties) and a gardening guide.