Agave attenuata

Agave attenuata certainly is an Agave that has become quite popular in Australian gardens in recent times. It’s large fleshy leaves really are quite attractive. The only problem with this plant is that as it grows a trunk it tends to fall over. Because of this though it is probably best to give it some space and let it eventually grow into a bush.

In my garden though I placed two together in a confined area and as a consequence I’ve had to cut them back. The great thing about this Agave though is that it is very easy to propagate from. As the main stem grows it will also send off some offshoots called pups. When it does this you then have three options.

You can either leave it as it is to then grow into a bush, you can cut off some or all of the pups to propagate from and leave the main plant or if you like you can leave the pups to grow into a bush, cut off the main plant and then propagate from that.

In his instance I chose to cut off the main plants as they were growing as if they were falling over and obscuring some other plants.

Agave attenuatas

Agave attenuatas

In the photo above the two smaller plants on the left were the pups that were left after I cut of the main plant about 12 months ago. The main plant, I propagated and is now growing quite happily in a pot. The larger one on the right is now about to get the same treatment.

Agave attenuata pups

Agave attenuata pups. If I had more room I would have just left the 5 pups to grow into a bush.

In this photo you can see the stump that remains from the main plant as well as the 5 remaining pups and surprise, surprise there is also a small Agave stricta nana growing as well that I forget was even there as it was obscured by the main Agave attenuata. Next I then removed 2 of the pups that I didn’t want and propagated from them.

Agave attenuata cuttings

Agave attenuata cuttings/pups

Agave attenuata in tubes

Agave attenuata cutting in tubes

I just soak the ends in some Multicrop plant starter and the place them into some 5cm tubes as shown and then just wait for the new roots to appear.

Agave attenuata cutting

Agave attenuata cutting. This is the main plant that I cut off.

As far as the main plant goes I drip some of the above mentioned plant starter into the base of the cut trunk, let it soak in and then just plant it into a pot with normal potting mix. Once again it’s just a matter of waiting for the new roots to grow.

So there you have it, Agave attenuata. This Agave is easy to grow and easy to propagate from. It does grow a little quicker than some of the other Agaves I have in my garden but I have noticed though it doesn’t appear to be as drought tolerant as some of the other Agaves I have growing in my garden. Then again this Agave is still pretty drought tolerant compared to most other plants.

If you’d like to read about another Agave, Agave potatorum is another one that just like Agave attenuata is easy to grow and easy to propagate from.

Read my update on this post. It’s about the Agave attenuata cutting I took 12 months previous to this one. Growing Agave attenuata in a pot.

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16 Responses to Agave attenuata

  • Darrin says:

    Thank you for this information.
    I have a question: how long would you soak the ends in the starter for?

  • Rebel Gardener says:

    Hi Darrin
    I just held the cutting upside down and let the plant starter soak into the cut end. You could probably even strike it without the plant starter if you wanted to.

  • Carole says:

    I have quite a few agaves in my garden and none have had pus. Can you tell me why please.

    • Rebel Gardener says:

      The main cutting I took from this plant hasn’t formed pups yet 18 mths after being removed. If you want it to bush out you could do as I did and remove the main shoot leaving 10 to 20 cm of the stem about ground for more shoots to form on.

  • Lexi says:

    Will the roots of agave attenuata push up concrete if planted very close and probably get lots of water??

    • admin says:

      Hi Lexi. I would say it would be very unlikely. They can be very aggressive so if you have underground plumbing nearby they may propose a problem especially if it is the old clay pipe variety.

  • sheila says:

    My daughter has 3 agaves in pots which have recently turned yellowish. What would the reason be…………….not enough water, too long in the pot?
    We were going to transplant them into the garden.

    • admin says:

      Sheila, yes there is definitely something wrong. Without seeing the plant it’s not easy to tell. Too much water will only be a problem when the water doesn’t drain away. Never leave the base of the pot in a saucer where water will pool. Agaves can also get very root bound after a while. The roots can block the drainage holes and not let the water out. Best take it out of the pot give it’s root prune if required and then plant it in the ground as you suggested.

  • Mike says:

    I have a large agave that is growing sideways out of the pot. the bare stem is now about 1m long.
    Is there a way to make it grow upright? or can I cut it off and re-plant the head like a yukka? If so how should I do this?
    Thanks 🙂

  • Carol says:

    I saw a lot of Agave Attenuate recently when visiting Los Angeles, CA and would like to know if this plant will grow in the Texas area of Gonzales County?

  • marge says:

    The village I’m staying in had a Agave Attenuata lying on the ground without roots donated by someone who cut off the trunk of the plant without roots. This plant was lying unattended for at least 2 months. I took the plant cleaned it out of all the debris and put it into a container with seasol & water. I now plan to put it in the ground. Will it survive without roots. Would be ever grateful for any valuable advise.
    Thanking you kindly,

  • shala says:

    hi there
    thanks for the useful website .i have few agave attenuate in the large terracotta pots on my balcony they are subject to direct sun and wind i do water them frequently the look happy but recently i notice white dots all over the leaves is there something wrong with the plants ?
    by the way i live in Sydney.

    kind regards

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