Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Smooth Agave, Dwarf Century Plant
Agave desmettiana 'Variegata'

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: desmettiana (de-smet-ee-AY-na) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegata

10 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

Unknown - Tell us

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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:
Sun to Partial Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is monocarpic

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

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

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 24 photos.
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2 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative keimanu On Feb 21, 2015, keimanu from Bellair-Meadowbrook Terrace, FL wrote:

I live in Jacksonville Florida and a hard freeze with temps barely below freezing for several ours has turned my unprotected dwarf variegated agave to mush....clearly NOT a suitable plant for zone 9A or areas that freeze

Neutral BUFFY690 On Sep 16, 2011, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Got a pup growing out, going to find a nice out of the way area to let it get BIG

Positive lhstiles On Sep 16, 2009, lhstiles from Greenbrae, CA wrote:

Seems to grow in either part shade or full sun here in Bay Area. Young plants need irrigation, or they seem to dry up quickly; however when mature, they can get by with only occasional water, though they appreciate and grow faster with regular irrigation.

Neutral wormfood On Jan 26, 2009, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Mine got hit by the freeze (Jan.09) but I believe the center is alright. Time will tell. It got down to 21*

Neutral htop On Feb 8, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. It is happier in a shady area.

Positive palmbob On Jan 27, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a nice looking agave and relatively user friendly... called a smooth agave since the leaves have no, or few spines along the edges, and they're pretty soft and rubbery (still a nasty terminal spine, though, so careful with your eyeballs!)... very common species in landscaping in So Cal (more so than the non-variegated variety). It is a bit on the invasive side, though, suckeing madly but fortunately not too far from the mother plant. It reproduces in a way not listed on the possibilities above, along with the usual seed and offset production. Sometimes bulbils will form on the flower stalk and little plantlets will grow there... all ready to just stick in the ground (see photo). This is one of the more cold sensitive agaves and won't take a whole lot of frost, though mine have never been damaged down to 25F.


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

Goodyear, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Clayton, California
Fairfield, California
Fresno, California
Granite Bay, California
Greenbrae, California
Mission Viejo, California
Spring Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Lecanto, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Vero Beach, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas

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