Agave salmiana (Giant Agave) is a decorative, evergreen, succulent plant forming a large rosette of thick, dark green leaves up to 1.5 m long, with a large point at the tip and strong spines on the edges. This blooming occurs after 15 to 25 years producing a vertical floral stem, typically up to 4 m long and bearing greenish-yellow flowers.
Scientific Name: Agave salmiana Otto ex Salm-Dyck
Synonyms: Agave salmiana var. salmiana, Agave tehuacanensis, Agave mitriformis, Agave dyckii, Agave lehmannii.
Common Names: Giant Agave, Pulque Agave, Century Plant
How to grow and maintain Agave salmiana (Giant 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 start 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.