Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ is an incredible cultivar of the popular Agave desmettiana plant that can add color, texture, and interest to any home or garden.
But it needs care and attention to keep it healthy and happy.
This guide will help you learn the proper steps to grow and care for your Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ plant to keep it healthy and beautiful.
in this article:
About Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’
Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ is a highly popular variegated form of the Smooth Agave (a.k.a. Agave desmettiana), a succulent native to Mexico.
Smooth Agave is a slow-growing plant and can take several years to reach maturity. It can grow up to 4 feet tall but typically stays at about 2 feet in height.
Related Article: Types of Agave succulents and common varieties
|Botanical Name||Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’|
|Common Name||Smooth Agave|
|Light||Full sun, Partial shade|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
|Tolerant||Deer, Drought, Salt|
Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ Care
The Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ is an easy-to-grow plant that requires minimal care once established. However, there are still some things you should know about growing this type of Agave successfully.
The Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ is a sun-loving plant but can tolerate some shade. If you want to keep your Agave happy and healthy, give it as much direct sunlight as possible.
The plant will do well either way, but the variegated leaves may lose some of their colors if they’re not getting enough light.
Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ is a succulent, so it prefers well-drained soil that is slightly dry. If you want to keep your Agave healthy and happy, ensure that you provide it with the right kind of potting medium in which it can thrive.
Water it sparingly if you want to keep your Agave healthy and happy. Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ needs to be watered only when the soil feels dry on top.
You can test by sticking your finger 2 inches into the dirt and water if it comes up dry. Overwatering leads to root rot, which is very hard to recover from.
Temperature and Humidity
The Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ prefers full sun and a temperature range of 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in a temperate climate, it will thrive outdoors year-round. However, if you are in an area that gets cold during the winter, you can bring your plant indoors for the winter months and place it in a sunny spot near a window.
Humidity is a non-issue as Agave plants don’t care either way. Average room conditions serve them well.
The Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ doesn’t require much fertilizer. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer is fine to use once a month during the growing season.
The plant should be fertilized in early spring and again in late summer or early fall to promote faster growth.
Agaves, in general, don’t require much pruning.
However, it’s best to remove dead leaves and brown tips on the plant. If you notice old, decaying leaves near the base of your plant, remove them as well, as the plant has a hard time getting rid of them on its own.
Potting and Repotting Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’
Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ can be repotted any time of the year. However, it’s best to pot your Agave when it’s just starting to grow.
If you notice that your Agave is getting too big for its current pot, repotting will help keep it healthy and happy. Make sure to use good quality potting soil and make sure there are lots of drainage holes at the bottom of the container.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the plant from its current container. Gently shake away all of the soil from around your Agave, being careful not to damage the leaves.
- Inspect the root system. If the roots are tightly packed in a ball, gently tease them apart with your fingers to loosen them up.
- Place the plant in its new pot. Push down on the soil until it is firm around the roots.
- Water the plant thoroughly. This will settle the soil and give it a good start in its new pot.
Propagating Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ by Offsets (Step-by-Step)
The most common way to propagate agaves is by taking offsets. This is a process where you can take small shoots or pups off of another agave and grow them into new plants.
Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ gives off offsets periodically, and you should have no problems getting your Agave to produce some for propagation.
- Separate the offsets from the parent plant by twisting them off by hand.
- Let the offset dry out for a few days. This will allow the cells to harden up to better survive transplanting into the new soil.
- Plant the pup in a small pot filled with cactus soil mix.
- Water the new Agave and place it in indirect sunlight with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wait for your plant to grow into a full-sized agave!
Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ is monocarpic, which means it will die after flowering. The plant produces a single large flower stalk reaching up to six feet high, with dozens of tiny yellow flowers on top.
The flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds, bats, and other insects and then turn into fruit that contains seeds.
Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ plants are slightly toxic to pets and small children. However, adults have nothing to fear from the sap other than a very mild itching if it comes into contact with skin.
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
The agave snout weevil is a serious pest of agaves and related plants. It feeds on its host plants’ leaves, stems, and flowers, causing damage that can weaken or kill them. They are most active in the warmer months when they lay their eggs on the lower surface of leaves; these hatch into larvae that feed on the plant tissue before pupating into adult beetles.
Scale insects are sap-feeding insects that can cause damage to agave plants. They attach themselves to their host plants’ leaves, stems, and flowers, sucking out the sap. This can lead to wilting and death of parts of the plant.
Slugs are small, round-bodied mollusks that damage plants by feeding on the leaves and stems. They often leave mucus trails as they move across the surface of leaves. Slugs hide during the day, coming out at night to feed on young tender growth.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
Growing Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’- Helpful Tips (Video)