A beautiful, hardy plant, the Agave havardiana can grow anywhere, from your backyard to indoors to a greenhouse. This gorgeous succulent is ready to spread its beauty anywhere and everywhere; if given a chance.
But if you’re not careful, it could become a scraggly mess. This is why we’ve created this in-depth guide to help you care for your Agave havardiana and keep it healthy and beautiful.
in this article:
About Agave havardiana
The Agave havardiana is an evergreen succulent plant native to Mexico and Southwestern Texas. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide in the wild, but it will usually only reach half that size in your home.
It is known for its extremely sharp spines, which are capable of causing severe injury.
This Agave forms a tight rosette of overlapping leaves that are thick and leathery. It is grey-green, with bent spines that can become lodged in the skin.
Agave havardiana has been used by Apaches for centuries, not only as food but also for medicinal purposes. The leaves of this plant can be eaten or used to make alcohol; however, you should note that the leaves can be mildly toxic, so you should avoid eating them if you’re not sure if they are safe or not.
Related Article: Different types of Agave succulents and common varieties
|Botanical Name||Agave havardiana|
|Common Name||Havard Agave|
|Bloom color||Yellow, Gold|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
|Tolerant||Deer, Drought, Dry or Rocky Soil|
Agave havardiana Care
Agave havardiana is a forgiving succulent that thrives under neglect. It doesn’t ask much from the gardener beyond a sunny position, well-draining soil, and a little water.
However, if you want to keep your Agave havardiana looking its best all year round, you may need to provide a little more care.
Agave havardiana is a light-loving succulent that needs at least four or five hours of direct light daily. It will not do well in low-light conditions, so if you don’t have a particularly sunny location, consider moving it or swapping it for another succulent.
Agave havardiana likes a well-draining soil that’s on the gritty side. You can accomplish this by adding sand to your potting mix or using perlite or pumice.
If you’re using standard potting soil, ensure it drains well before adding it to the container.
Agave havardiana must be watered only when the soil has become completely dry. This means the soil’s surface should not be damp or wet when watering it.
Overwatering causes root rot and other issues.
Temperature and Humidity
Agave havardiana tolerates a wide range of temperatures and humidity but prefers warm conditions. The ideal range is somewhere between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consider placing it near a heat source such as a window or in an unheated conservatory in cooler climates.
It is frost hardy to below-freezing if kept dry.
Agave havardiana does not require much fertilizer. If you want to, fertilize it once a year in spring with a balanced fertilizer.
Don’t fertilize in winter when the plant leaves its growing season. It is a slow-growing succulent that takes many years to reach maturity, so be patient.
However, good fertilizer application and optimal conditions can significantly speed up this process.
Agave havardiana does warrant much pruning. Trim off any dead leaves as needed when you repot the plant, but avoid cutting back live leaves.
Potting and Repotting Agave havardiana
Agave havardiana can be potted in a variety of containers, including clay pots and terra cotta. The plant prefers well-draining soil that has been amended with organic material such as peat moss or coconut coir. Clay pots are ideal because they allow air to circulate around the roots and keep moisture from building up too quickly.
Spring is the season for repotting because that’s when the plant is just starting to get into its growth phase. Therefore, it can easily recover from any damage done during the repotting process.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the Agave from its container and gently loosen the soil around it.
- Use a trowel to separate any tangled roots, then trim off any damaged or dead roots with sharp scissors.
- Put a layer of newspaper or plastic under your potting table to catch any dirt that falls out during repotting, so you don’t have to wash it away later on!
- Gently place the Agave in the new container, filling in around it with soil and patting it down to ensure good contact between roots and soil.
- Water thoroughly, but don’t let water pool around the base of the plant or get on leaves; this can cause disease!
Propagating Agave havardiana by Offsets (Step-by-Step)
The first step is finding an offset you would like to propagate. They are usually found near the base of a mother plant and have a few leaves on them already.
- Remove the offset from the mother Agave plant and prepare it for planting.
- Give the cutting some time to callus over and heal (reduces the chance of rot).
- Once the cutting has callused over, it can be planted.
- Place the offset in an area with bright light and good air circulation.
- Water the offset regularly until it is established. After a few weeks pass, you should see new growth appear, which means that it has rooted successfully and is ready to be transplanted into its own container!
Agave havardiana is monocarpic, which means it will die after flowering. However, the plant will produce a single huge flower stalk, often reaching up to ten feet in height.
These succulents only bloom after they’ve reached maturity, which takes about 10-15 years.
The gold and yellow flowers attract hummingbirds, adding a touch of color to the garden.
Agave havardiana is non-toxic. In fact, it was used by Native Americans to make mescal or mezcal, a clear alcoholic drink that’s made from the fleshy core of the plant.
However, the spines on the sides of the leaves are viciously barbed and can cause nasty cuts if you’re not careful.
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 common pest that can cause serious damage to the plant. These small, black beetles lay their eggs in the fleshy base of the leaves, which hatch into larvae that feed on and destroy it.
Remove any infested leaves immediately and discard them to prevent this from happening.
Scale insects are small, hard-shelled insects that attach themselves to the leaves and stems of agave plants. They secrete a liquid that attracts ants and other insects. These insects feed on the honeydew and, in turn, protect the scale from predators like ladybugs.
Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails will destroy your agave plants if left unchecked. They feed on the plant’s leaves, leaving behind a trail of slime as they travel. The best way to prevent them from feeding on your agaves is by using bait or traps to capture them.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy