Agave attenuata

Agave attenuata
Agave attenuata

Seen by many as one of the most attractive of all of the Agaves, Agave attenuata does indeed have great shape and form. Characteristics that make it a popular plant for growing in containers and pots.

A perennial succulent with large rosettes of smooth wide foliage. Agave attenuata has attractive green grey foliage reaching 4-5 feet. Flowering in spring to summer Agave attenuata produces a tall flower spike with green/yellow flowers.

One of the more spectacular agaves with foliage that makes it an excellent landscaping plant and tall flower spikes with attractive creamy flowers, although Agave attenuata may take 8 – 12 years to flower.


Agave attenuata prefers full sun and a free draining soil. Some water during summer if needed. Excellent in a container or pot where it will thrive as long as it gets adequate protection from frosts and freezes.

  • Well drained growing medium is essential.
  • Full sun for best foliage color.
  • Frost free position is essential.

Some water during long dry summers if needed. Protection from frost is essential to maintain appearance, works well as a container plant.

If you are growing this plant indoors you will need to provide adequate light for proper growth. It is best overwintered indoors and then grown outdoors during the warmer months.

Pruning Agave attenuata

This is an Agave that grows a stem, and eventually it will lift the head of the plant well above the ground. Some gardeners are not attracted to that look, others are.

One solution is to plant the whole agave deeper into the ground, the stem will send out new roots.

The other solution is a little radical. It involves pruning the top of the agave with a short stem attached and replanting. However this can sometimes work, and other-times not. You do need to keep the planting mix fairly dry for this to work. Also not a very reliable technique in colder climates.
Looking at Succulents in more detail


Popular cultivars worth looking for include :

  • Agave ‘Blue Flame’ which is is actually a hybrid between Agave attenuata and Agave shawii


Propagation is easy from offsets. These will occur through the life of the plant and are often removed as they appear to keep the plant as a single specimen.
If left, the offsets will be ready made replacements for the parent plant after it eventually flowers.