Agave Species, American Century Plant, American Aloe, Maguey

Agave americana

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: americana (a-mer-ih-KAY-na) (Info)
Synonym:Agave spectabilis
Synonym:Aloe americana


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


This plant is fire-retardant


Foliage Color:



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From bulbils

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:



Atmore, Alabama

Eight Mile, Alabama

Flomaton, Alabama

Grand Bay, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Congress, Arizona

Golden Valley, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Green Valley, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Surprise, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona(3 reports)

Agoura Hills, California

Apple Valley, California

Calabasas, California

Campo, California

Canoga Park, California

Folsom, California

Glendale, California

Hesperia, California

Lompoc, California

Menifee, California

Oxnard, California

Rancho Calaveras, California

Redding, California(2 reports)

San Clemente, California

San Francisco, California

San Leandro, California

Spring Valley, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Travis Afb, California

Valley Springs, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Cantonment, Florida

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Miami, Florida(2 reports)

Orlando, Florida(2 reports)

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Summerfield, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Venice, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Cecilia, Kentucky

Gray, Louisiana

Slaughter, Louisiana

Gulfport, Mississippi

Blue Diamond, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

Alamogordo, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Elephant Butte, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Beaufort, South Carolina

Bluffton, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

Little Mountain, South Carolina

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Alpine, Texas

Andrews, Texas

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Brownsville, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Kermit, Texas

Leander, Texas

Lipan, Texas

Longview, Texas

Lufkin, Texas

Odessa, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

San Marcos, Texas

Santo, Texas

Spicewood, Texas

White Center, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 31, 2018, DMichael from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Agave americana is one of only a dozen or so Agave species that will grow well in Ft Lauderdales subtropical / tropical 10b climate.


On Jul 29, 2017, Stevebrain from Folsom, CA wrote:

This plant is a poisonous beast! It came with the house when I bought it 18 years ago. At first it was a small, nice looking addition to the landscape. Now it is huge and taking over my backyard. I went to trim it this morning not knowing it is poisonous. I was in shorts, tshirt and sandals and no gloves. After about 15 minutes I started to itch on my head, stomach and back. The itch turned into a fire. I jumped in the pool but that didn't help. Then took a shower and soaped everything down, then applied Benedryl cream. After about 40 minutes it's feeling a little less itchy, but I have read online that the itch and rash can continue for weeks, so not sure what to expect. My advice -- stay away from these monsters.


On Jan 12, 2016, Bigmac6 from Napier,
New Zealand wrote:

Worst mistake I ever made was to plant some agave americanas and prickly pear. Seem to be resistant to many weed killers- nearly killed a nearby avocado though. Tried the chainsaw - pulp everywhere and as it was a hot day had bare arms and legs - became very itchy and took lots of soothing cream to make life acceptable. The plant fibre got into the chainsaw oil pump drive and ruined that.
The pups are now all out of control. I tried drilling holes into the agaves and prickly pears and dosing with neat roundup at 450 g/L - concentrated. They laughed at me. I made a little impact with picloram and I am about to try getting serious with that - drill, spray with penetrant, a mixture with diesel to try to get through the waxy layer.
Don't plant either if you want to remain... read more


On Jan 9, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is a superb container plant, very easy to maintain here in the northeastern US (Boston Z6a). I use it for its sculptural/architectural form and blue color, with other succulents in containers outdoors, and it performs well with only rain for watering. Set in a border, it becomes a major focal point.

It will survive six months in a dark basement with no attention. In the spring, I remove the pups, cut off any dead leaves, hack off most of the rootball, let the cut surfaces callous, and repot in fresh potting soil. That's all the maintenance it needs, except occasionally to clip the terminal spines on new leaves.

It even sails through light frosts with no damage, if I'm slow to bring it in in the fall.

I pot it in a black plastic nursery pot,... read more


On Jun 4, 2015, UhOhSawdustO wrote:

I Love this plant, living or dead! So, my husband borrowed a couple of dead ones from Pinal Mountains, here in Arizona a few months back. We noticed this morning a fine saw dust around the chair it sits next to in our home and on the baseboard. Did we bring a creature home with us in this thing? Or is this creature one of our own?


On May 26, 2015, TucsonJohnW from Tucson, AZ wrote:

I have some of these plants on both sides of my house and in my backyard. I love it! I think it is beautiful and grows very easily. I have been told that the best way to grow this plant is to neglect it. That works well for me!

I have been in this house since 1997. I bought the house new. It was built by Del Webb builders. The landscaping contractors put one of these in the front yard. It quickly became infested with agave grubs and died. But, before it died, it produced pups. I replanted the pups in other areas of the yard and they have flourished.

My neighbor Joe lived on the East side of me, at that time, planted one between our houses. Joe loved the century plant agave also. Joe has since sold the house and moved. A new owner bought the house. For some rea... read more


On Feb 3, 2015, Pitera_Man from Santa Cruz de Tenerife,
Spain wrote:

I work a lot with this plant and have learned to coexist.

The leaves can be trimmed back to eliminate the spikey ends. Always wear long sleeves and pants and shoes and eye protection when pruning. Also cut by hand to reduce possible splashes from the sap. It is best to use a long handled curved pruning saw and keep a safe distance.

When the plant is green the fibers cut easily. When the plant dies and froms the flower stalk the plant fibers dry and become difficult to trim. I use the woody stalk for wood working.

This is an excellent plant to control erosion on hillsides but it must consciously be maintained to prevent an invasion. This is a very powerful plant that is adaptable to warm climates. Remove young pups to impede spreading.... read more


On Jul 27, 2014, SanDiegoLady from Campo, CA wrote:

These are nice clean line looking plants that are drought resistant. We have two in our yard, one is currently in bloom and will die soon. It's about 30 years old I would guess. I have trimmed both my plants, I cut the bottom leaves to make it look kinda like a pineapple on the bottom. I wore long jeans, long sleeved shirt, hat, gloves, and glasses. The juices do cause a burning rash but if you cover up it will be fine.
To trim it I used a sawzall and it worked really well. They were huge pieces so I cut each one multiple times to be able to move them.
I did not know that after blooming the entire plant will die but I really enjoy the look of these. I trim the end spine of the lower branches so my kids aren't injured.


On May 21, 2014, greenyjase from auckland,
New Zealand wrote:

I'm a gardener/landscaper working for more than 20 years and I'm going to concur with every poor sod here who has had a nasty reaction to the sap of this plant. In particular I agree with the recommendation by one of the aussies that you don't use a chainsaw on this beast whatever you do. I'm on day 7 of the most intense itching I have ever experienced in my life, possibly just starting to calm down a tiny bit but still insanely itchy. I have used a handsaw to prune these plants before without a problem, but I was in a hurry with rain bearing down on me so used the chainy. Boy what a mistake. The chain threw pulp all over my arms and legs, and I began to experience a weird burning/prickling/chemical sensation within 20 seconds that just got more and more intense. Washing with cold water ga... read more


On Nov 30, 2013, Campocalle from Redding, CA wrote:

Here is a qualified positive: this plant must be in the correct location and it must be periodically maintained. The negative reports here mostly result from a failure to put this plant in the right place and/or to maintain it properly.

First, location...this plant can take all types of poor soil, frosts (down to 5 F in my experience) and drought, and it is a beautiful sculptural rosette of beautiful bud-imprinted leaves. Flowering is amazing. But as many others note, this plant grows huge and spreads, creating a tangle of offsetting pups. So, the location should be at least 10 feet out from walkways, activity areas, etc. to let the plant achieve its full size. There should be no other stiff, tall, or woody plants near the century plant. An open area allows for acce... read more


On Nov 12, 2013, LynnyB from warkworth,
New Zealand wrote:

We bought a 6 acres 7 months ago in Wellsford, north of Auckland and inherited a house section garden full of these. Yes, structurally they look great, but what a cow of a thing to try and get rid of! We have sprayed and hacked and even tried using the tractor and chains to pull out the biggest ones (10 ft). To no avail. The path is broken with pups pushing their way thru and the side effects from wrangling this beast are severe! I wonder if the previous owners knew what they were planting. I would suggest to anyone thinking of planting these to make sure they are away from footpaths and play areas in your garden. They are a nasty beastie :)


On Aug 29, 2013, jimmiller5417 from Cecilia, KY wrote:

I would like seeds and pups of the
Agave Salmiana var. ferox (Maguey de Pulque). I am putting a garden and will harvest the leaves for cordage and paper making. Please let me know what you have.

Jim Miller
[email protected]
103 Methodist St., Cecilia, KY 42724
270-862-4379 (work) or 270-307-4857 (cell)


On May 27, 2013, hiram253 from Sebring, FL wrote:

I have a number of century plants growing and my largest on has a spike on it that it about 25 to 30 feet tall. It has a lot of pups and I am very familiar with the plant...It goes well here in Florida.

I have one question to others that may know more than I do. Many of my pups are also sending up spikes and there are random spikes coming out of the ground around the plant.. I have never had this happen... Why the spikes on the pups?

Anyone wanting to see pictures of the plant can reach me at [email protected]. I have no idea on posting pictures on this site... Just got on todoay.. john


On May 4, 2013, junglejohn from Gold Coast,
Australia wrote:

I must be very fortunate. I removed 8 huge specimens with a chainsaw 3 days ago wearing shorts. Over a tonne in weight. I am a little itchy but I was absolutely covered in the sap, head to toe. At first I was really itchy but it went away after about an hour. It comes back in the shower but settles down again soon after. Reminds me a little of the giant stinging tree we get around here.


On Feb 8, 2013, Phoenicia from Exmouth,
Australia wrote:

I have been a landscaper for almost 15 years and have never had such a bad reaction to any plant as the agave americana.
I would strongly suggest eradication of this noxiuos weed.

I was removing a large mature plant from a garden yesterday using a chainsaw to chop it into more managable pieces for removal. The sawdust was more like grated onion which splattered over both legs and 1 arm. Almost instantly i began to have a severe discomfort like acid burns or an infuriating itch . I had to stop sawing and started to wash my legs with water and a towel. After about 30mins the sensation completely stopped, leaving no pain or itch.

Later that night the affected area began to welt. Today the welts started to form little whiteheads. I went to the doctor... read more


On May 22, 2012, Miker76 from Wedgefield, FL wrote:

No idea what this thing was before hand, only that it was big, spiky, and the guy who owned the house before me had it dead center on top of the entrance to the house septic tank. For me to get an inspection, it had to go. I ended up as many here I see have done, got at it with an axe and hacked the massive thorny blades away, hacked at the roots, and pulled my jeep up and attached chains and pulled the thing out of the ground. My arms, 11 days later are completely covered in blisters and rash. I sleep with benedril every night and keep itch lotion of various types with me at all times. I am highly allergic to poison ivy although thankfully this doesnt have the same spreading ability that it has, but itches far worse. Sometimes I just go dunk my arms in cold water it gets so bad. Hopefully... read more


On Jan 20, 2012, ItchyGreenThumb from Menifee, CA wrote:

I recently bought a home near Temecula California and the 10k sq ft yard has a beautiful but overgrown landscape. The first thing I noticed were some VW size blue agave and yellow striped American agave growing on my hillside. After removing the 4 truck loads of overgrown rosemary I decided to tackle the agave. I began trimming the agave back with a very sharp hand pruning saw so this process was very easy with no mess.

BUT, when it was time to reduce the size of the plant leaves to fit in the trash I decided to hack them down into small pieces with a dull mechetti.

Bad move!!! Little did I know the sap was splattering all over both my arms as I was hacking away. Within 10 minutes I felt like I had a bad case of poison oak on both arms. I washed them with soa... read more


On Aug 21, 2011, BryanJS from Apple Valley, CA wrote:

Do NOT chain saw this plant if you want to get rid of it. I got the juice "sap" which was extremely runny (like water) on my skin and then the burning spread all over my body. I was burning and itching for quite a while. I thought it would go away after a while.... it didn't. I took a shower and used soap all over my body. I used the soap, then rinsed it off, used the soap and rinsed again (6 times) It took about 15 minutes and I have no blisters or rashes from the plant. It might of helped because I was wearing sunscreen but I'm not sure. No matter how big the plant is, dig it out. do NOT cut any part of it because you will be in pain.


On Jun 27, 2011, ueberwinden from Florence, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I live in a zone 6 and my agave adorn my backyard in a 20 gallon pot. I have never had any issues when I have trimmed it up. This plant has very sharp points for a reason, probably not smart around young children without close supervision. Some plants are very beautiful but demand respect, and this is one of them.


On Apr 8, 2011, elisandro wrote:

We work with this plant to make Mezcal in oaxaca mexico, a mexican spirit drink, It is very rich in sugars that once you ferment it and then you distill it, you will obtain alcohol. The bad part is that if u are not used to the plant and its juices, it will cause a sever rash, but once you are used to it, you will be fine. some people will have very sensitive skin but they get used to it.


On Jan 30, 2011, regiberry from watsonville, CA (Zone 7a) wrote:

At my Mother's home recently, I trimmed this plant back with a pruning saw and immediately had a burning and severe itching on my arms that blistered. I washed my arms and took my clothes off and used caladryl lotion and hydrocortisone cream. I had this rash for almost 10 days. It was very surprising, to find out that the sap is toxic. I wish that I new this before I trimmed it. Could have been much worse!


On Jan 8, 2011, tl1000sv from Paraparaumu,
New Zealand wrote:

We are in Paraparaumu, New Zealand and have had one of these in our yard for 10 years. Over the last three weeks the plant has begun to flower...WOW... wasn't expecting that! The central stem has grown nearly 7 metres in three weeks. The neighbours are all wondering what is going on. I have always liked the look of the plant but wasn't aware of the dangerous sap. I understand they can die after flowering and have sought advise from the local gardening shop. They tell me to cut the central stem when it looks as though the flowers are beginning to wilt.


On Dec 17, 2010, bmcdanel from Lawton, OK wrote:

I researched this plant before getting one and am aware of its undesirable traits. However, I like its distinct appearance. It is taking a prominent position in a cactus garden in my backyard. The garden is experimental with many cacti, agave, and yuccas not native to Oklahoma growing in it. I've seen many fine examples of it growing across the southern U.S. in areas that get as cold as here. Its dangers are a challenge, but are manageable. One thing with this and any other plant, be sure you know how big it will get when you plant it. It is important to allow space for the mature plant, not the one in the pot. An update: Although it is supposed to survive here, we had an unusual cold spell, -2 degrees Fahrenheit, which did it in. It is possible that it could have adapted with two... read more


On Jul 20, 2010, detramp from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

I agree with the above neg coments regarding the skin rash.
You need to get a RX for the treatment so the rash
does not get infected.
Apply this cream two to three times a day on affected areas
generic equivelant for....SILVADENE 1 %

Dr. Dan


On Jul 20, 2010, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

They call it century plant b/c supposedly, it blooms once every 100 years. Mother plant dies and the pups are left to carry on. However, who has been around 100 years to verify bloom frequency???

I don't grow it in my garden. You need a very large space. I have seen some in flower and they are magnificent. However, the flower stalk is so thick, you need a saw to remove it after show is over. Also, I remember one particular case in which the mother plant was so big, it was a terrible looking mess after it died (following bloom).


On Jul 19, 2010, WestTexan from Alpine, TX wrote:

This plant is best left in the desert, or at least should not be grown where the gardener is not willing for it to be the DOMINANT plant on the landscape. The sap contains TOXINS that produce a contact dermatitis that is WAY beyond anything you have ever experienced with nettles or poison ivy--almost immediately very painful and often long-lasting. The previous owner of my rural residence planted one of these agaves right next to the house--3 feet. The plant is now ten feet tall and at least that wide. I am removing it, but it is difficult because of the sap. Barbed leaf edges, iron-hard spines on the tip, constant regenerative suckers popping up all over, plus the internal toxins make this an unfriendly plant. The dermatitis can be treated by cold saline compresses and antihistimines, but... read more


On Jul 12, 2010, jaylang from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

My experience relates to buying a 30-year-old garden in Florida where agaves were planted when small, then became the problem for the next owner--me. I transplanted one away from a pathway successfully by tying it up in burlap to be like an artichoke, only to have the 2010 freeze burn it real ugly. Two others I had been clipping off their needles with scissors, and then they began their death dramas. What I eventually did to get their carcasses gone was a lot of GLOVED, long-handled lopper work on the ground-level leaves to clear some bare stalk. I used a reciprocating saw (sawzall) at ground level to cut the stalk, several cuts. I did the same thing with the big stalk that had grown up and spawned little agaves all over, in two cycles. I used pick and shovel to get rid of the root b... read more


On Jun 17, 2010, AmberJackson from Redding, CA wrote:

My mother planted these a few years back and now they are huge. We have young children and they can't play in the backyard because we cant figure out how to remove these monsters. I feel helpless and frustrated. Does anyone have some ideas?


On Jun 15, 2010, TXWolf from San Marcos, TX wrote:

I love this Plant as it was abandoned by myy former neighbor and it is now about 5 and a half feet tall at the center Spike...

It is beautiful and if i can just keep the kiddos away from it with thier bats all will be good, my question is how do i clone this... i havent seen any pups so to speak around it... i want to place these on each of the 4 corners of my yard but am lost when it comes to cloning these or planting them. any help will be appreciated you can email me at [email protected] with any suggestions thanks


On Nov 13, 2009, yvic from Fort Pierce, FL wrote:

I planted a small, 6" in diameter blue agave about 4 years ago here in SE Florida and I couldn't believe how quickly it grew. It spiked 2 months ago to a height of 10 feet. I cut the spike and figured the plant would die. It did not. Three days ago I used a reciprocating saw to first cut the leaves off, and then dug up and disposed of the main plant and its pups. I wore gloves and long pants and thought I was careful not to get any sap on my skin. Unfortunately I developed a severe rash on the inside of my wrist. I've never had a rash like this. I am not allergic to poison ivy and have handled that often. This rash is unbelievable. It only itched slightly at first, but now 3 days later it is still dark red to purple with some white pustules forming. I thought I might have psorias... read more


On Mar 15, 2009, slash_d from San Diego, CA wrote:

1. Sharp leaves with thorns.
2. Sap of the plant will leave a nasty rash.
3. Plant spreads like an epidemic.
4. Not a plant I want in my yard.
5. Leave these plants in the desert.


On Sep 11, 2008, baiissatva from Dunedin,
New Zealand wrote:

Zone 9b, Coastal Otago, New Zealand. After reading these other notes Im very surprised! I know of no one in this country who has experienced the irritating effect of this plant's sap, and have handled it myself without incident, despite having highly reactive skin. I am certain the plants we have are A Americana- perhaps, like many agave species down here, we have a clone that is both ubiquitous and relatively inoffensive.
I add to this that my A A looks exactly like the 'kell' pic in the wheelbarrow, and yesterday I trimmed it up with a kitchen knife, getting sap on my bare hands and arms, which did, well, nothing! Is it just that Im not allergic or are NZ AA's a less toxic hyrbrid? Who knows??
Grows well in all but the coldest areas, survives being frozen solid, imperv... read more


On Jun 29, 2008, ogrejelly from Gilbert, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Fast grower in the Phoenix area with very little care. I hose water them every three weeks and they are very healthy. I find that once large they are vulnerable to agave Beetles. By the time they start to show unhealthy signs, they are dead and infested with grubs. The good thing is that the pups sprout everywhere and are very easy to transplant so you always have a healthy backfill. By far the fastest growing agave I have seen.


On Jun 28, 2008, queenothmadhous from Cantonment, FL wrote:

This is the first time that I've had one of my own, but my grandmother had one when I was growing up. Sorry to all of you who didn't know about the sap. It was always an understood rule that we couldn't mess with that plant. (My grandmother had quite the green thumb and grew anything and everything, even things she was told could not grow in the south) We could walk up to it and look or even feel the leaves, just do NOT break anything.


On Jun 6, 2007, msironi from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

This beautiful Agave was given to me by a friend who couldn't use it in her garden. It is a care free rapid grower, needs little water, tolerates cold (in the recent very cold weather this winter in Southern Calif. many tropical plants took a beating, but this Agave is as sturdy as ever). Pup production is plentiful and I end up giving lots of plants away as I don't want it to overtake the garden with new plants. I haven't seen too many of these so am not sure if it is rare or not.


On Aug 23, 2006, eurokatt from Naples - Lago Patria,
Italy (Zone 9b) wrote:

I am not a fan of this plant in my yard; its big, invasive, and thorny. I enjoy it's presence in other's yards and the blooms are incredible. Having said that...I do have one in my current yard (rental). It is in an area that I only need to access to turn the sprinkler on/off so I don't have much contact with it. Today I needed to trim off some of those darned leaves and I used a hand saw. EEK! Severe itchiness hardly describes the sensation. I wanted out of my skin! (torso, thigh and sawing arm were affected) After applying alcohol and cortisone cream I ended up in the shower with soap and cold water. My husband poured vinegar on my 'itchy' parts with no help. I sent him out to my garden to retrieve a big Aloe Vera leaf. Splitting open the leaf (remove the thorns! - missed a co... read more


On May 2, 2005, kickit from Valley Center, CA wrote:

Tip for the day: If you are using a chain saw to take out this thing, do NOT wear shorts :)

Wish I had researched this before I had started. Oh well, I am glad to see I am not the only one to learn this painful lesson.

One thing, I washed my legs in COLD water, not hot. Hot water opens up the pores. Washed with soap and water 4 times, still itching, but perhaps 80% less.

Then put on 5% cortizone cream and I'm doing OK about 1 hour after the intitial contact.

Beautiful plant and I respect it even more now. Just wish there was a better way to get rid of it where I don't want it :)

Does anyone have any experience making tequila from this one?


On Feb 9, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have to say I have mixed opinions about this plant. On the positive side, it can be an impressive, imposing, turquoise landscape plant(s). I have a friend who uses this species to wall off his yard from would-be plant thieves and it's a pretty impressive wall of spines. You would have to be crazy to try to cross it. And it's incredibly easy and fast growing

... but for me, who does not live on a 100 acres of property, this is NOT a good landscape plant, but a weed. It is nearly impossible to get rid of once you stick it in the ground. It comes up everywhere, and sometimes 10-15' away from the mother plant. Rip it out, and roots still make more plants forever. And the new suckers love to come up right next to other valuable less durable plants that don't like having... read more


On Feb 8, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. It can also be propagated by bulbils which form on the bloom stalk.


On Jun 12, 2004, cousinscuzzy wrote:

I agree with the previous poster's warning about the sap. This is a very impressive prehistoric looking plant, and grows well in the southwest US. However, be careful not to get the sap on your skin.

Last weekend I was helping a friend remove an enormous cluster of these from his backyard. The fibers are very strong and at their base the large plants are quite tough. We needed to use a pickaxe to break it up and get it out. We were unaware of the toxicity of the sap and got quite a bit on our skin. It started itching badly within minutes, and by the next day it was a bad rash that started blistering. One week later the rash is still pretty bad.

The good news is that I can't imagine coming into contact with the sap without doing serious, intentional dama... read more


On May 18, 2004, smile70s from Saint Augustine, FL wrote:

Don't get me wrong, we love the plant - it is beautiful - but be very, very careful not to get any of the juices on the inside of it onto your skin. My husband, a landscape designer, is in absolute misery right now. He was removing a century plant (agave americana) from a customer's landscape and had to cut it. When he did, he got juice all down his legs and they immediately began to burn. He tried running water over it, and it just made it worse. He came home and showered and washed it off w/soap and water, and it didn't help. It has been over 24 hours, and he has a rash so bad on his legs that he can't even bend his knees. He's also been very sluggish and a little nauseated all day. He went to the doctor and she gave him a steroid to take down the swelling. I looked it up on a t... read more


On Dec 14, 2003, CShea from Miami, FL wrote:

My husband brought his plant home in a pot. After moving it around in the back yard for quite a while to mow the grass and such, it took root and grew to an enourmous size - about 6 feet in diameter (mind you the pot is still there). One day we noticed this stalk growing up out of it. It passed the powerlines and eventually got so heavy it bent over. It flowered and later produced over 200 small plants which we will be potting and giving as holiday gifts - with a warning that they will grow very large. What an interesting plant!


On Nov 22, 2003, MNEVEN from New Port Richey, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

So far I love my agave. We planted it 18 months ago. A neighbor has a huge one and this is a pup. Today I noticed that the flat part of the stalks have yellow bumps on it. Is this a fungus and if so, what do I do and if not, what is it?


On Nov 5, 2003, roshana from Jacksonville, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

These century plants are growing in a "Century Plant Grove" in the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ.


On Jul 12, 2003, Ulrich from Manhattan Beach, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

'Century Plant' is a misnomer. Their life span is more like 35 years.


On May 30, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Its so hard to find accurate informations about Agave on the net! I have some national and foreign books of ornamental plants, and I cant identify the plant, which pictures I just posted. The closest I got is Agave americana, but Im not sure.

What I know is that I have a small plant of A. americana, with variegate leaves, that started as a bud from the inflorescence of an older plant. What a tough little plant! I wasnt expecting it to survive, but now I have to replant it in a bigger vase.


On Mar 27, 2003, tommcf from Buchanan, NY wrote:

This is a favorite plant of mine. Ive had this plant since 1995. I should say that I also have the Variegated American Century Plant, which I think is what most people think of when they think A. americana. Its pretty hardy, although it does require plenty of direct sunlight. It's definitely a plant that is immune to aphid attack, even though, contrary to popular belief, not all succulents are. I have empty pots to prove that. It has produced two very healthy sprouts, which I removed (can you say: hacksaw) and repotted, and is working on two new sprouts right now. My observation is that itll only sprout when the light is really good. You also have to warn people that the plant has a real bite, especially the end thorns. Theyre so big and sharp you could almost use them for arrowheads.... read more


On Mar 14, 2003, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Overall, I like this plant, but they can be be invasive and grow quite large if grown in the ground. They can be kept smaller when grown in pots.


On Mar 14, 2003, farizona from Bowie, AZ (Zone 8B) wrote:

This looks similar to my plant except my plant has the green stripe in the center of the leaf (blade?) and outer edge is yellow. It is called "Variegated American Century


On Mar 13, 2003, Dinu from Mysore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

The flower spike can grow up to 15 feet but the plant has to be many years old by then. The leaves too get wider and the plant would need 6-8 feet across. When these are small, it is an attractive plant that requires little or no attention.