Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Foxtail Agave, Dragon-Tree Agave, Spineless Agave
Agave attenuata

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: attenuata (at-ten-yoo-AY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Agave cernua
Synonym:Agave glaucescens
Synonym:Agave pruinosa

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

37 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Cactus and Succulents

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is monocarpic

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 55 photos.
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7 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative 19pidder52 On Feb 26, 2012, 19pidder52 from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

This plant does incredibly well in San Diego....recently I moved to Las Vegas and brought 5 huge containers of the plant with me. The winter cold has nearly destroyed them, however they did well and grew like crazy in October and early November...........does anyone know if I have to throw them out or if they will survive next winter if I cover them with burlap? Anyone with a similar experience please contact with advice. The plants are worth 5 to 6 hundred dollars, beautiful and I love them. Any feedback is so appreciated. The nurseries here all give me a different answer. Sad in Vegas

Positive zone10 On Apr 30, 2008, zone10 from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

Grows very well in San Diego (zone 10) but does not take direct sun during the hottest weather. I have lots of these in my garden, generally they are growing in the shade of trees, getting direct sun only part of the day. In my opinion, these agave's look much nicer when allowed to grow in clumps. I must have 50 plants in a cluster growing under a palm tree. Beautiful background to annual or perennial color!

Positive htop On Jan 12, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant; however, I have observed it growing in Maui, Hawaii. It grows as a native plant in the mountains of central Mexico. Reportedly, it is rare in its native habitat. It will grow in full sun and poor soils; however, optimum growth is acquired when it has morning sun and afternoon shade or dappled shade with good soil and regular water.

Positive koolkatken On Nov 27, 2005, koolkatken from Auckland
New Zealand wrote:

Grown a lot of these in Auckland NZ. They can really grow fast like a weed. Have to keep up by taking off some of the pups or it would really get carried away. Also find that if planted too close to edges, the lawn mower will easily break off parts, but they do grow quickly.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Sep 22, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Hardier and faster growing than Sunset magazine would lead you to believe.It's a leaner that needs a bit of room. I have seen specimen clumps around the Bay Area. How many other agaves can do well alongside ferns?

Positive punaheledp On Jul 2, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Had wondered what this was. Came with the house 16 yrs ago. Thought it was century plant. Mother plant is long gone, but she left many babies that have gone on to leave keiki of their own. Mine's growing among lava rocks which helps hide the ranginess of trunk . Flowers right before plant dies. Flower stalks have grown at least 8'-10' long with small white flowers all around it, bees love it. Baby plants grow all along trunk after plant blooms.

Positive palmbob On Jul 14, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the few 'soft and user friendly' agaves. It is grown extensively all over California and is very popular because of its soft, powdery texture, lack of vicious spines and showy blossoms. Some plants become enormous before blooming developing trunks up to 10' long (usually the plant collapses before this and the trunk crawls along the ground), especially if given plenty of water. This is an especially tough Agave to overwater, sometimes performing well in standing water and muddy gardens in So Cal. It is, however, one of the least cold hardy of the Agaves and very cold nights will often damage the foliage (under 26F). This plant also is available in a showy variegated form, as well as a form called A attenuata 'Nova' in which the flowers grow straight up instead of arching- see uploaded photos from Pasadena)

Propogation from the profuse suckers they produce along the stem is extremely easy, making this one of the best/easiest agaves to fill an entire yard for cheap. Tends to be overpriced in most nurseries- fast growing plant- buy small- it will be big in no time... and you can have more suckers than you would ever want soon, too.

Just went through an unusual freeze here in the Los Angeles area, and many of these plants completely melted to mush. Was surprised to see them being much less hardy than even most aloe species, many of which were only 'partly' mushed by the freeze of 27F. I still think this is a zone 9b plant, but it obviously cannot tolerate the very bottom of this zone well

Positive henkmaters On Mar 2, 2003, henkmaters wrote:

A monumental plant that is however monocarpic! It only blooms after 10-12 Years.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler Heights, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Canoga Park, California
Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California
Castro Valley, California
Channel Islands Beach, California
Chula Vista, California
Encino, California
Fontana, California
Fullerton, California
Goleta, California
Greenbrae, California
Hayward, California
Livermore, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Norwalk, California
Reseda, California
San Diego, California
San Dimas, California
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
San Mateo, California
Sherman Oaks, California
Soquel, California
Spring Valley, California
Winters, California
Hollywood, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Miami, Florida
North Port, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Kailua, Hawaii
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Houston, Texas
Killeen, Texas
Red Oak, Texas

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