Octopus Agave (Agave vilmoriniana) – Succulent plants

Octopus Agave (Agave vilmoriniana) is the most popular agave.  It is known for its untoothed arching and twisting leaves. Arching deeply furrowed leaves are unarmed, making this Agave a relatively safe plant for walkway areas or container growing. At the end of its life, generally in winter, it will start to produce a blunt flower stalk that will ultimately through the spring season grow up to 4.5 m tall. The stalk is a true spike and the individual flowers are small, creamy yellow to whitish.

Scientific Classification:

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave

Scientific Name: Agave vilmoriniana A. Berger
Synonyms: Agave eduardi, Agave houghii, Agave mayoensis
Common Names: Octopus Agave

Octopus Agave (Agave vilmoriniana)

How to grow and maintain Octopus Agave (Agave vilmoriniana):

Light:
It thrives best in full sun to light shade. A south or south-east facing window works great.

Soil:
It prefers to grow in well-drained soil. Use standard succulent or cacti potting mix.

Temperature:
It prefers warm spring and summer temperatures 70ºF/21ºC – 90ºF/32ºC and cooler fall and winter temperatures 50ºF/10ºC – 60ºF/15ºC.

Water:
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.

Fertilizer:
Fertilize with a standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks during spring and summer. Do not feed during fall and winter.

Propagation:
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.

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