Are you looking for a plant that is easy to care for and will look great in your home? Then, the Agave attenuata (Fox Tail Agave) is the plant for you!
It has a beautiful appearance and requires minimal care.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about growing and caring for this remarkable plant.
in this article:
About Agave attenuata
Agave attenuata (Fox Tail Agave) is a spineless rosette-forming succulent native to Mexico.
Rosettes are large and showy, with curving leaves arranged symmetrically. Small stems support the rosette, but they’re hidden underneath the foliage and rarely visible.
The Fox Tail Agave blooms in the summer after it matures, sending up a huge stalk laden with flowers.
Related Article: Agave types and common varieties
|Botanical Name||Agave attenuata|
|Common Name||Fox Tail Agave, Elephant’s Tail Agave, Lion’s Tail Agave, Swan’s Neck Agave|
|Light||Full sun, Partial shade|
|Bloom color||Yellow, Green|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
|Tolerant||Deer, Drought, Salt|
Agave attenuata Care
Agave attenuata is drought-tolerant, so you often don’t need to water this succulent. It handles neglect quite well and doesn’t require much to thrive.
Full sun is the best environment for Agave attenuata. It will tolerate partial shade, but you may see a reduction in growth rate and overall health. Your Agave will grow better in full sun, but too much direct sunlight can cause sunburn if the light is on the harsher side.
Agave attenuata is a succulent, so it needs well-drained soil. The soil should be sandy and contain a lot of organic material.
You can also add some perlite or vermiculite to increase drainage.
Water your Agave attenuata when the soil is dry. Do not allow the Agave to sit in water, which will cause root rot.
Watering frequency should be reduced during the colder months and can be stopped altogether if temperatures remain below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period.
Temperature and Humidity
Agave attenuata (Fox Tail Agave) is a succulent that requires warmth and humidity to thrive. Ideally, you want to maintain 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with moderate to low humidity levels.
In winter, when the sun shines less brightly through windows or skylights and the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, move your Agave to an area where it can receive protection from frost.
These are frost-sensitive plants that don’t handle the cold well.
If you’ve grown agaves before and are familiar with their needs, the fertilizer requirements for Agave attenuata should be pretty straightforward. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as one based on the NPK ratio of 10-10-10. You can get this type of fertilizer at most garden centers.
You should never overfeed your plant; otherwise, it will burn up its roots and begin showing signs of stress early on in its life cycle (which will not only shorten its lifespan but may also lead to other problems down the line).
You can prune your agave attenuata (Fox Tail Agave) by cutting off the dying or damaged leaves. You should also cut back dead stems to the ground.
If you want to prune your plant, do so in early spring.
Potting and Repotting Agave attenuata (Fox Tail Agave)
You can pot and repot Agave attenuata any time of year. However, it is best to repot in the spring or summer.
Only repot as needed; once every 2-3 years is usually more than enough.
How to Repot (Step-by-step)
- Remove the plant from its pot.
- Wash off the old potting mix from the roots.
- Remove any excess soil around the base of the plant.
- Place it in a new pot filled with fresh soil, and ensure no air pockets between the roots and soil.
- Water it well, but not too much at once!
Propagating Fox Tail Agave By Offsets
The foxtail agave produces plenty of offsets near the base of the central rosette. Each one can be separated and planted as an individual plant.
- Cut away the offset from the mother plant.
- Allow your offsets to dry and callus over for a few days before planting them in a separate pot.
- Water your new potted offsets once a week until they’re established in their new pots.
The blooms of the Agave attenuata are a deep yellow and appear on a 15-foot tall flower stalk. The stalk curves and droops downwards, resembling an elephant’s trunk or lion’s tail.
The main rosette dies after flowering, but new offsets emerge near the base of the plant, which can be replanted to cultivate new plants.
Related: How to Care for Agave ‘Blue Glow’
Agave attenuata is a slightly toxic plant that can cause skin irritation if it comes into contact. Keep away from pets and small children.
These are the most common pests that agave attenuata (Fox Tail Agave) can attract:
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
It’s essential to water your plant only when it’s dry. Too much water can cause root rot and other fatal conditions in an agave plant.
If your plant has root rot, it can be saved if you remove the affected roots and replant them in fresh soil. However, if the rot has spread too far through the roots, your Agave will likely die.
If your Agave is exposed to too much sunlight, the leaves will begin to turn brown and fall off. You can protect your plant by keeping it in an area with filtered light or draping it with a shade cloth.
If the sunburn has already happened, you can help your plant recover by removing dead leaves and protecting it from further exposure.
Agaves don’t need much fertilizer at all. In fact, too much fertilization can lead to unhealthy growth and even death. So remember this when choosing how frequently you plan on fertilizing your plant.