Agave vilmoriniana is a beautiful succulent plant that makes an unusual and eye-catching addition to any space.
We have provided everything you need to care for this graceful Agave and tips on where and when to place it. We’ll help keep your Octopus Agave looking its best.
in this article:
About Agave vilmoriniana
Agave vilmoriniana is a gorgeous evergreen succulent native to Mexico. The name ‘Octopus Agave’ comes from its appearance: it has large, octopus-like leaves arranged in a rosette.
It’s a slow-growing succulent that can reach up to 3 feet tall and spread twice as wide. Undulating, spineless green leaves form a spectacular rosette. The leaves curl inwards, especially near the tip, creating gutter water can seep through.
The Octopus Agave produces large, yellow flowers after it matures, sending up a tall, almost 20-foot-long flowering stalk laden with plantlets.
The Agave is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11 and requires little care once established in your home landscape or garden bed.
Related Article: An in-depth guide to all types of Agaves
|Botanical Name||Agave vilmoriniana|
|Common Name||Octopus Agave|
|Bloom color||Yellow, Gold|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
Agave vilmoriniana Care
Agave vilmoriniana is a drought-tolerant succulent that requires little care once established in your home landscape or garden bed. However, gardeners do need to keep these essential facts in mind.
Agave vilmoriniana is a succulent that requires full sun to thrive. If grown indoors, situate it near a window with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
Plants in shadier conditions tend to become leggy and pale, with elongated leaves prone to rotting.
Agave vilmoriniana grows best in well-draining soils. If you live in a region with wetter climates, ensure that your soil drains freely before planting.
If amended with inorganic materials like gravel or coarse sand, the soil can drain even more freely, making it more suitable for this succulent.
Agave vilmoriniana requires very little water. It’s best to let the soil dry out between watering sessions. This will help prevent root rot from occurring, a common problem with these plants when watered too often.
Water deeply but infrequently during the summer and not at all during the winter.
Temperature and Humidity
Agave vilmoriniana prefers to be kept between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If your home is too cold, consider moving these plants to a warmer spot or purchasing a small greenhouse where they can get some extra heat during the winter months.
Dry conditions are preferable to humid ones as this plant doesn’t like having too much moisture around.
Fertilize your Agave vilmoriniana every two to three months during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Do this at the start of springtime as well to help stimulate new growth.
You should only prune these plants if something is wrong or dead on the plant. Ask an expert before cutting if you’re unsure if your Agave needs to be trimmed.
Agaves tend not to stray from their rosette, making managing their size easy.
Potting and Repotting Agave vilmoriniana
If you have a large Agave vilmoriniana, you may need to repot the plant every two years. You should also do this if you notice the roots are growing out of the drainage holes in your container. You’ll want to use a fast-draining potting mix that still holds moisture.
The best time to repot is as the early spring approaches, as this is when the plant is starting to grow. You can also repot during the summer, but ensure that you do so before temperatures get too hot.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the plant from its existing pot. Use your trowel or shovel to loosen the soil around the base of the plant, then gently pull it out with your hands.
- Remove any dead leaves and trim back any broken or diseased stems on the plant’s roots.
- Put some soil mix into your new pot until its about halfway full
- Lower the plant into the pot and gently fill it around it with more soil mix.
- Water your new plant thoroughly, then place it in a spot where it will receive plenty of sun (at least 6 hours each day).
- Wait at least two weeks before watering again.
Propagating Agave vilmoriniana by Plantlets (Step-by-Step)
As it flowers, the Agave vilmoriniana produces abundant plantlets along its flowering spike that can be removed from the stalk, repotted, and cultivated as new plants.
- Remove a plantlet from the flowering spike by grasping it gently with a pair of pliers and pulling it away from the stalk.
- Wash off all dirt that may be present on the plantlet, then plant it in a small pot filled with a soil mix that drains well (such as cactus mix).
- Water your new plant thoroughly after a few days and place it in a spot where it will receive plenty of sun (at least 6 hours each day).
Agave vilmoriniana is monocarpic, meaning it only blooms once in its lifetime. The plant will produce a tall, flowering spike during its final year of growth and then die shortly after that.
Flowers are yellow and appear in clusters.
Plantlets appear on the flowering stalk and serve as an excellent way for the gardener to continue the culture.
Agave vilmoriniana is mildly toxic, with sap capable of irritation and blistering. The plant is not generally considered a health hazard, but it is best to avoid contact with any part of the plant if possible.
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
Agave snout weevil is the primary pest of this plant, feeding on the leaves and reducing their ability to photosynthesize. Therefore, removing any infested leaves as soon as possible is best so they do not spread their eggs.
Scale insects are common pests of Agave, feeding on the sap and causing damage to the plant. You could remove them by rubbing them with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or applying horticultural oil to the affected area.
Slugs and Snails
Snails and slugs can be a problem when they feed on the plant’s leaves and stems, causing damage that can lead to the death of your Agave. They can be removed by hand or sprayed with a hose filled with water and salt.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy