Agave attenuata

Agave attenuata

Mexican or attenuated agave

The place of origin of the attenuated agave is, by choice, the sea: you could recognize it among a thousand different varieties of plants because of its uniqueness and its beauty. In fact, the scientific name of Agave Attenuata is "agauos", which - translated from ancient Greek - literally means "splendid". And not by chance. Like many species of succulents and cactaceae, this variety has its birth in South America, and more precisely in the desert areas of Mexico.

It is not easy to find a plant of this type to grow spontaneously in nature. In fact, in the wild, it is very rare to be able to see it. In fact, it is no coincidence that the Agave Attenuata plant is artificially grown due to the fact that - precisely because of its proverbial rarity - it is seriously threatened with extinction.

This wonderful succulent plant, as already mentioned, has Mexican origins. It was a local explorer who transported it to Italy in the first half of the nineteenth century. If it hadn't been for him, we would not have been able to admire the magnificent ornamental beauty of this plant in our gardens, in the public parks that exhibit it, in the most beautiful flower beds in our country.


Among the first things that catch the eye upon observing this succulent plant there is certainly the fleshy consistency. In fact, this succulent plant is turgid and very watery. Of course, also given the places of origin and the temperatures recorded there, it goes without saying that Agave Attenuata loves heat very much while it fears particularly low temperatures. It will therefore not be possible - unless you take special precautions by setting up heated and well-lit greenhouses - to cultivate it in mountainous areas or in any case generally cold.

The beauty of this plant is also due to its peculiarity that distinguishes it from most cacti, or at least from the image that many have of succulent plants: in fact on its turgid and fleshy leaves it does not show any sign of the thorns that instead characterize his "cousins". Precisely for this reason, the Agave Attenuata plant is considered one of the most elegant plants of its species.

Another peculiarity of its own is that during the final ripening period, that is when the plant can in all respects be considered adult, it produces the so-called "caule", that is a particularly robust and strong stem that allows it to reach a height of about one meter, one and a half meters.

Also in the adult period, the so-called eusiform leaves can reach a length of seventy centimeters.

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Agave plant

If you decide to grow this elegant and ornamental succulent plant, you certainly cannot overlook the fact that during the summer season it develops beautiful flowers which in some cases can far exceed the height of two and a half meters: they present themselves with a beautiful yellow color, or in some cases intense green. From the flowers it is possible to obtain bulbs that can be subsequently used to reproduce the Agave Attenuata plant.

If you intend to grow this plant, you can safely do it in a pot. Naturally, it will be necessary to take care of it properly and adapt a vase suited to its needs.

Indeed, it is important to carefully respect the needs of this variety, so that it can grow healthy and luxuriant.

Agave attenuata - agave attenuata cultivation">Agave attenuata: Grow agave attenuata

Keeping in mind the place of origin of Agave Attenuata, its elective environment is naturally a warm and sunny place. If you live in very hot areas and with average temperatures that are almost summer, then choose this magnificent ornamental plant.

On the contrary, if you live in places characterized by long winters and cold temperatures, you could opt for setting up a heated and well-lit balcony greenhouse. It is good to keep the Agave Attenuata plant at stable temperatures, without exposing it to significant temperature excursions, because it may not withstand them. And, in any case, you should never expose the plant to a temperature that falls below five degrees centigrade.

Of course, as you can easily imagine, light is also a factor of fundamental importance for this plant: in fact it loves to be exposed to sunlight for a long time, so it will be good to place it in a suitable and well-exposed environment.

Being a succulent plant, Agave Attenuata can stay up to a month - under normal and well-ventilated conditions - without being watered. Once a month will be more than enough to keep your succulent plant hydrated. Obviously in this case the choice of the pot is a crucial element for the correct growth of the Agave: choose one that is deep so that the roots grow in the right way.

A sufficiently deep pot will also allow the placement of a good drainage layer inside it: gravel and sand for a height of about ten centimeters should ensure proper water drainage, avoiding dangerous stagnation.

It is good to take care of the Agave Attenuata plant properly, avoiding it can get injured with cuts and cracks. In this sense, avoid placing it next to other succulents that have blunt thorns. In fact, a cut of its leaves or stem could lead to serious consequences for its health.

Video: Agaves, Yuccas, and Succulents - Village Nurseries