If you’ve been looking for a way to add beauty and character to your home or office, look no further than the Agave nickelsiae plant! This is one of the most popular succulents in the business.
Learning how to care for the King of the Agaves will allow you to enjoy its beauty and resilience for much longer.
This guide will teach you all the different ways of caring for your plant, including watering frequency and soil type.
in this article:
About Agave nickelsiae
The king of the agaves, Agave nickelsiae, is an evergreen succulent of breathtaking beauty; native to northwestern Mexico. It has thick green leaves with white or cream stripes on them. The stripes crisscross and spread in longitudinal lines along the length of each leaf.
The leaves are topped with a stout, black spine that contrasts nicely with the white and green coloration of the leaves.
It has a very distinctive appearance that makes it stand out among other types of succulents. It makes an excellent addition to any space because it can grow in many different environments and doesn’t require much attention once established.
This Agave was previously miscategorized as Agave ferdinandi-regis.
Related Article: Learn about different types of Agave succulents and their varieties
|King of the Agaves
|Full sun, Partial shade
|Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy
Agave nickelsiae Care
Agave nickelsiae is a very easy plant to care for. It can survive in almost any environment and doesn’t require much attention at all.
The best light for an Agave nickelsiae is full sun to light shade. In most cases, it prefers direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day, but in particular harsh sunlight, some shade is appreciated.
In sunny climates, consider placing your Agave in a shadier spot.
Agave nickelsiae can grow in just about any soil type, but it appreciates a mix that drains well. In humid climates, consider adding perlite or pumice to your potting soil mix to help drainage.
Agave nickelsiae is drought-tolerant, but it also appreciates regular watering. In particular, the plant needs more water during its spring growth spurt. During this time, allow the soil to become dry to about 1 inch below the surface before watering again. But don’t forget to ensure the water drains out quickly after watering.
After this initial growth period has passed (usually around July), water the plant less often and only when the soil is completely dry.
Temperature and Humidity
Agave nickelsiae is incredibly winter hardy, so it can withstand temperatures as low as 0°F (–17°C). Therefore, it can be grown outdoors in USDA zone 7 and above.
However, for optimal growth, maintain temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Average room humidity is fine, but don’t let it drop below 30 percent. Most homes have this level of moisture naturally.
Agave nickelsiae is a light feeder, so fertilize it once every six months with a balanced fertilizer. Use half the recommended strength for indoor plants.
The plant will also benefit from slow-release organic pellets or compost when available.
Agave nickelsiae is slow-growing and does not need to be pruned. It will produce new leaves from the center of the rosette, so you can trim some away from the outer rim if they become damaged or die off.
Potting and Repotting Agave nickelsiae
Agave nickelsiae should be potted in a well-draining soil mix. Use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. The Agave does not need to be repotted often, but you can repot it every two years if it becomes rootbound and looks poor.
Spring is the right time to repot as the plant is just entering the growth phase, and any damage done to the roots at this time will heal quickly.
Before repotting, remove any dead or dying leaves from the plant and discard them. If any of the leaves are damaged but still alive, cut them off at their base with a sharp razor so that they don’t cause problems for your Agave.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the Agave from its container and place it on a flat surface.
- Use the trowel to loosen the stuck soil around the roots and gently pull them out.
- Remove any dead leaves or branches.
- Fill the new pot with new soil and place the Agave in it.
- Water well and let sit for a few days before moving it back outside.
Propagating Agave nickelsiae by Offsets (Step-by-Step)
A common way to propagate Agave nickelsiae is by offsets. You will need to detach an offset from the mother plant carefully. To propagate by this method:
- Select an offset from a healthy mother agave.
- Harvest the offset in late spring or early summer (before the plant begins to flower) and let the wound heal for about two weeks before planting.
- Plant the offset in its own container filled with new soil.
- Place the newly-planted offset in a warm, bright location.
- Water the Agave when the soil feels dry to your touch.
Agave nickelsiae is monocarpic, which means it will only produce flowers once in its lifetime. The plant blooms when it reaches about 20 years old. It takes several years for the plant to flower, so don’t worry about your plant up and dying any time soon.
Yellow and purple-red flowers will emerge on top of a gigantic flowering stalk (20 feet tall) and last for several weeks.
Agave nickelsiae is mildly toxic. This plant sap can irritate the skin and cause rashes. It’s best to wear gloves when working around your plant and wash your hands after handling it.
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 of agave plants. The snout weevil is a small, black beetle that lays its eggs inside the plant. When the larvae hatch, they eat the Agave from the inside out. Once outside, they eat other nearby plants and lay more eggs on them. To prevent infestation, remove any damaged leaves from your plant.
Scale insects are a common pest of agave plants. They look like small, brown, or black bumps on your plant’s leaves or stems. You can remove them using horticultural oils or rubbing alcohol.
Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails are common pests of agave plants. They eat the leaves, stems, and buds of your plant, leaving behind small holes. Use a pesticide or organic slug bait to kill them off.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
All About Agave nickelsiae (King of the Agaves) (Video)