Looking for a new and exciting succulent to brighten up your collection? Agave bracteosa is an excellent choice. Not only does it make a breath-taking addition to any room, but it’s also easy to care for and grow—and once you’ve got one, you’ll want more.
Here, we’ll guide you towards the right way to care for this lovely plant by teaching you how to choose the best spot for it, what soil mix to use, etcetera, etcetera. We’ll also share tips for repotting and pruning your plant to stay healthy and beautiful!
in this article:
About Agave bracteosa
Agave bracteosa is a succulent plant native to Mexico. It is commonly known as the ‘Squid Agave’ because of its unusual shape. The succulent leaves are long and thin, with a sharp tip that resembles a squid’s tentacle.
It is also called the ‘Spider Agave’ because of the spider-like spread of the leaves as they curve backward.
These gorgeous green leaves form a small solitary rosette that can reach around 1 foot.
Agave bracteosa is a perfect choice for hanging baskets and containers and is a beautiful potted plant. It’s also highly suited for succulent gardens and desert-style home décor.
Related Article: Agave types and common varieties
|Botanical Name||Agave bracteosa|
|Common Name||Squid Agave, Spider Agave|
|Bloom color||Creamy White|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
|Tolerant||Deer, Drought, Salt|
Agave bracteosa Care
Agave bracteosa is a slow-growing plant requiring little care to thrive. In fact, it is such a low-maintenance plant that many people choose to gift them to beginner gardeners.
Its relatively small footprint makes it ideal for those who don’t have a lot of space or time to care for plants.
Light shade is best for this plant but it can also tolerate full sun. The key is to avoid intense heat and direct sunlight.
Too much sun might cause yellowing or, in extreme cases, sunburn. A sunny windowsill that gets some shade for parts of the day is ideal.
Agave bracteosa can grow in different soils but prefers rich, well-drained soil. Therefore, it’s best to avoid heavy clay or waterlogged areas because they tend to have poor drainage and cause root rot.
Agave bracteosa doesn’t require a lot of water. In fact, overwatering is one of the most common mistakes made by new owners.
Check your soil before watering to ensure it’s moist but not soggy. If it feels dry, give the plant a thorough watering but make sure the water drains out quickly afterward; the last thing you want is water pooling around the roots.
Temperature and Humidity
Agave bracteosa does best in warm temperatures. It will tolerate temperatures as low as 17 degrees Fahrenheit for short periods but prefers temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s also highly heat tolerant, making it one of the few succulents that can survive on both extremes of the temperature spectrum.
The average room humidity is fine. Therefore, you should not need to mist the plant or provide additional moisture.
Agave bracteosa does not require regular fertilization. Overfertilizing is likely to kill the plant because it cannot tolerate excessive nutrient salts in its soil.
If you want to fertilize, wait until after the first growing season when new growth appears and feed lightly with a balanced fertilizer solution or slow-release granules once per year.
Agave bracteosa is not a plant that requires pruning.
Most agaves are best left alone to grow into their natural shape. However, if there is an unsightly or dead section of the plant, you can remove it with a sharp knife as long as the cut does not affect the aesthetics.
Potting and Repotting Agave bracteosa
Agave bracteosa is a succulent plant and should be kept in a porous, well-draining potting mix.
If you want to repot the plant, do so only during the spring when you can give it plenty of water.
Agave bracteosa is a slow-growing plant and can be left in the same pot for years. Only repot if the plant needs it or has outgrown its pot.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the plant from its old pot. Use a sharp tool to cut the plant from its pot, being careful not to damage the roots.
- Separate the plant from its old soil. Tease apart the roots from the soil.
- Fill up your new container with soil mixture until it reaches about two-thirds full, leaving room for more as needed later.
- Place the plant in its new potting mix and thoroughly enough water to settle all the soil around the roots.
- Place your Agave in an area that receives plenty of sunlight and water it regularly.
Propagating Agave bracteosa by Offsets (Step-by-Step)
The process of propagating Agave bracteosa by offsets is not tricky, but it does require some patience. Once you have found a suitable offset:
- Remove it from the mother plant by cutting through the base with sharp pruning shears.
- Allow the open wound to callus over for a few days before planting.
- Place the offset in a pot with good drainage and a well-draining soil mixture.
- Water it thoroughly and place it in a sunny spot that receives at least four to five hours of sunlight daily.
- You should see new growth on your Agave within two or three weeks, but this often depends on how warm your environment is.
Agave bracteosa blooms in the summer after it reaches maturity. However, unlike many other Agave, Agave bracteosa can sometimes survive the blooming process.
Even if the main rosette doesn’t survive, it regularly suckers, forming clumps that can continue the culture if one rosette perishes due to blooming.
Creamy yellow flowers are borne on a 4-8 foot tall inflorescence and can be quite showy. The flowers are followed by tiny seeds that can also be used for propagation.
Agave bracteosa is not considered toxic but contains saponins that can cause skin irritation.
NOTE: This page is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. The toxicity of an ingested substance varies depending on the amount ingested, the animal’s weight, and its sensitivity to specific allergens. Contact your veterinarian or local animal poison control center immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance.
Agave snout weevil
Agate snout weevil is one of the most common pests found on Agave bracteosa. This is a small beetle with a snout-like projection on its head that it uses to drill into the plant for laying eggs. Unfortunately, it also chews holes in leaves, which causes them to die back prematurely.
Scale insects are small, hard-shelled insects found on the leaves of many Agave. They feed on sap from within the plant and secrete honeydew as a byproduct. This attracts ants, which protect the scale insect from predators in exchange for feeding on the honeydew.
Slugs and Snails
These mollusks can be found feeding on the leaves as well. This can cause damage to the plant and make it more susceptible to disease, not to mention the disfigurement of the leaves themselves is unsightly.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
Agave bracteosa (Spider Agave)-Care Tips (Video)