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How to Plant Agaves

By Lily Obeck ; Updated September 21, 2017
The vibrant agave glistens in the light.

Agaves are known for their speared leaves and rosette structures. Their leaves produce vibrant colors, depending upon the variety of agave, with colors ranging from deep greens to yellows, reds and even purples. Agave plants store water and nutrients in their leaves, leading many to believe they are a type of cactus, but in fact, they are succulents. Their roots are extremely shallow, which makes perfect accents for rock gardens and other desert showcases.

Find a spot suitable for the agave plant. Smaller agaves need full, filtered sun and do best as an indoor plant on a windowsill. Larger agaves need full sun with partial shade throughout the day.

Dig a hole with the trowel that is the same width and depth as the container the agave is currently in. Planting the agave deeper restricts the plant from collecting adequate nutrients.

Place the agave in the hole as gently as possible so the roots aren't disturbed. Mix equal parts of compost or potting soil, original soil and gravel, and refill the hole using the new mix. Water the plant thoroughly after planting.

Give the agave at least 1 gallon of water per week. Stagger the amount between three to four waterings during the week, or whenever the plant becomes dryer. The need increases to 2 to 4 gallons throughout the summer, particularly if temperatures reach more than 100 degrees F. The agave needs only 1 gallon per month during the winter months and does not need to be watered after heavy rains.

Apply a general-purpose, balanced fertilizer 2 to 3 inches around the agave's base each spring and fall.


Things You Will Need

  • Trowel
  • Compost or potting soil
  • Gravel
  • General-purpose fertilizer

About the Author


Lily Obeck is a copywriter based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She writes for print, online, outdoor and broadcast marketing, with expertise in health, education and lifestyle topics. Obeck holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Texas and works as a part-time children's library assistant.