Agave bracteosa (Spider Agave) is an ornamental, slow-growing succulent with up to 30 cm tall and up to 45 cm wide rosettes. The leaves are medium green or yellow-green, smooth and soft, lanceolate, convex in the lower third, 40-70 cm long and 2.5-5 cm wide near the base and tapering to the tip, with minute serrations (teeth) along the margins, but no teeth nor spine both along the edge and at the tip. The They are upright and recurved above the middle (fountain like), in a fashion reminiscent of the octopus agave Agave vilmoriniana.. This plant suckers to gradually form a dense stand. When plants mature, a up to 5 foot (1.5 m) tall spike bears a dense terminal cluster of white flowers, distinctive from all other Agave. After flowering, the main rosette slowly dies but younger suckers perpetuate the plant.
Scientific Name: Agave bracteosa S.Watson ex Engelm.
Common Names: Spider Agave, Candelabrum Agave, Octopus agave, Squid Agave
How to grow and maintain Agave bracteosa (Spider Agave):
It thrives best in full sun to light shade. A south or south-east facing window works great.
It prefers to grow in well-drained soil. Use standard succulent or cacti potting mix.
It prefers warm spring and summer temperatures 70ºF/21ºC – 90ºF/32ºC and cooler fall and winter temperatures 50ºF/10ºC – 60ºF/15ºC.
In spring, water this plant when the top inch of soil is totally dry. Don’t let the soil become completely dry. In the winter and fall, when growth is suspended, water very lightly. Too much water can cause root rot or cause the leaves to become pale and flop.
Fertilize with a standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks during spring and summer. Do not feed during fall and winter.
It can be easily propagated from offshoots which is the fastest and most reliable method of agave plant production. Agave plants put out offshoots from the base of the mother plants that are easily removed to begin a new plant. Growing agave from seed produces a large number of plants quickly. A moist, sterile soil mix containing equal parts perlite and sphagnum peat is ideal for germinating seeds in a warm location with indirect light. The soil must stay lightly moist until the plants are established. A clear plastic covering helps keep the soil moist during the two to three weeks until the seeds sprout, then a daily misting keeps the seedlings moist until ready to transplant.
Pests and Diseases:
It has no serious pest or disease problems. Watch for mealybugs and scale.