Agave americana

Agave americana

Century plant, agave

  • Botanical name: Agave americana
  • Common name: Century plant, agave
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Plant Type: Cactus or succulent, Evergreen
Flower colour:


Foliage colour:


More a succulent border perennial than a shrub because it does not develop permanent woody stems, Agave americana is a beautiful, highly architectural species, regarded by many as an indoor or seasonal plant for growing outdoors in summer. It eventually forms an enormous rosette of stiff, dangerously pointed leaves. It’s known as the century plant as it supposedly takes 100 years to flower; typically it when about 30-40 years old, after which the main plant dies, leaving young offsets as successors.


Grow Agave americana in well-drained soil in full sun. When mature it will be able to cope with cold and frosts provided it’s protected from winter wet. Young plants will need extra protection. Alternatively grow in a large container that you can move indoors in autumn. 

How to grow Agave americana

  • Plant size

    2m height

    3m spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border


  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness: Frost hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Agave americana and wildlife

Agave americana has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Agave americana poisonous?

Agave americana has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Agave americana


Agave montana

Mountain agave
Agave parrasana

Agave parrasana

Cabbage head agave