Agave, also known as the century plant, makes a dramatic focal point in the southern garden. It is a large, rosette-forming succulent with thick, pointed, bluish leaves. The leaves are edged with sharp, downward-facing teeth. Agaves can grow as large as 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide and, because of its dangerous spines, should be planted in a location away from foot traffic and play areas. Agave is, however, easy to care for and is a good choice for hot, dry climates.
Grow Agave in a sunny spot in zones 9 through 11. For the best color, grow Agave in a location where it will get at least 5 hours of full sun. Agave tolerates shade better than many succulents, but it will not grow well in full shade.
Use a well-drained soil. Agave is a succulent and prefers to be dry. True to its adaptable nature, Agave tolerates poor, shallow soil, clay soil, alkaline conditions and salt spray.
Skip the sprinkler. Agave is extremely drought tolerant and requires no supplemental water in most cases. Natural rainfall is all this tough, indestructible plant requires.
Do not fertilize Agave. Fertilizers may encourage flowering—and Agaves die after flowering.
Use extreme caution when trimming. Agaves grow from the center of the plant, and the exterior, bottom leaves may brown and die. Cut these off with a sharp, long-bladed saw. Whenever you work around an Agave plant, use caution—heavy gloves and protective clothing are needed to prevent injury.