Tequila is the most well-known product made from the blue agave hearts. It’s made from the steamed and mashed hearts. You probably have a good memory of the agave plant’s sharp terminal spike and ragged, toothy margin. One of the most common uses of agave in landscapes is privacy, or as a mass planting of thorny and unpleasant defense plants. Different agave plants can be grown as specimen plants and add height, texture, or shape to rock gardens or xeriscapes. Different Agave Plants. Avave plants are generally hardy in U.S. Zones 8-11. They can be found in the southern regions of North America, Central America and South America. They are able to withstand intense heat and sunlight. Aguave plants are often mistaken for cactus due to their sharp teeth and spikes. However, they are desert succulents. Many varieties of agave are evergreen and can withstand frost. Common agave varieties will naturally form clumps of rosettes.
They are ideal for mass plantings to provide privacy and protection. However, some agave varieties will only make new rosettes if the main plant is at the end of its lifespan. Many agave varieties have the common name “century plant”. Because of the time it takes for an Agave plant to flower, this is a common name. Although the long-coveted blooms take less than a century to develop, it can take up to 7 years for other agave plants. These flowers are often lantern-shaped and form on tall spikes, similar to yucca blossoms. High winds can cause flower spikes up to 20 feet (6 m) high in some agave varieties. These spikes can easily rip apart entire plants. Commonly Grown Agaves in Gardens Also, consider how big agave can you accommodate. Many agave plants grow very large. Once they have established, agave plants are not able to be moved and can’t be cut back. You should choose the appropriate agave variety for your site. Here are some common agave varieties suitable for landscapes: American century plant (Agave Americana) – 5 to 7 feet (11.5 to 2m.) high and wide.
The leaves are blue-green and have broad, moderately toothed margins. Each leaf has a terminal spike that is long and black. It can grow in full sun or part shade. There are many hybrids of this agave, some even variegated. Can tolerate light frost. Rosettes will develop as plants age. Century plant (Agave Angustifolia), 4 feet (1.2 m.) high, 6 feet (1.8 m. wide), with gray-green leaves, sharp edges, and a long, dark tip spike. As it ages, the plant will naturally mature. Full sun, some tolerance for frost. The blue agave (Agave Tequilana), is 4-5 feet tall (1.2 to 1.5m.) wide. The blue agave has a narrow, narrow, blue-green leaf with moderately toothed margins. It also has a long terminal spike that is sharp brown to black. Frost tolerance is very low. Full sun. Whale’s tongue agave (Agave Ovatifolia) – Height and width: 3-5 feet (0.91-1.25 m.). Gray-green leaves with small margin teeth and a large, black tip spike. It can be grown in part shade to full sun. Frost tolerance. Queen Victoria agave (Agave Victoriae) – 1 1/2″ (.45m.) high and wide. Small, rounded rosettes with tight gray-green leaves and small margin teeth.
The tip spike is brown-black. Full sun Notable: Some regions have designated these plants as endangered. The thread-leaf agave, Agave filifera, is 2 feet tall (.60m) wide. Fine white threads are found on the leaf margins of these narrow green leaves. Full sun, with very low frost tolerance. Foxtail agave (Agave ttenuata), 3-6 feet tall (.91-1.2 m.). Green leaves without terminal spike or teeth. This agave has a palm-like appearance because of the rosettes that form on its small trunk. Frost tolerance is not an option. Part shade to full sun Octopus agave (Agave.vilmoriniana), 4 feet (1.2m) high and 6 feet (11.8m) wide. This agave’s long curled leaves give the impression of having octopus tentacles. Frost tolerance is not allowed. Part shade to full sun Shaw’s agave (Agave Shawii) – 2 to 3 feet tall, with wide green leaves and red toothy margins. The terminal spike is red-black. Full sun. No tolerance for frost. They form quickly into clumps.