Agave desmettiana Variegata is an ornamental, rosette-forming perennial succulent with attractive, dark blue-green leaves with gold. Each leaf is thick, rigid, fleshy, and linear-lanceolate, up to 1 m long and up to 9 cm wide with smooth margins and a single reddish sharp terminal spine. Each rosette will flower only once, usually at some point between 8-10 years. The blossoming rosette dies after flowering, but new rosettes formed by suckers/offsets from the base of the mother plant will remain. The flowering stalk rises from the center of a rosette, up to 2.5 m tall, producing side branches containing terminal clusters of pale yellow flowers.
Scientific Name: Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’
Common Names: Variegated Smooth Agave, Dwarf Century Plant, Smooth Agave.
How to grow and maintain Agave desmettiana Variegata:
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 plant that is 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.