King Ferdinand Agave

Agave nickelsiae

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: nickelsiae (nik-EL-see-ay) (Info)
Synonym:Agave fernandi-regis


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

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


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

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow after last frost

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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


Fountain Hills, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Bostonia, California

Hesperia, California

Mission Viejo, California

Reseda, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Roswell, New Mexico

Olympia, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 6, 2013, Bronto from Scottsdale, AZ wrote:

Tolerates sun in central Arizona and shows no signs of frost damage down to at least 25F. Supplemental water will allow it to grow faster with fatter, more robust leaves. Offsets just enough that you will never run out of the plant after it dies after blooming. Blooms have been tall in the stalk but short on flowers.


On Nov 16, 2007, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

IN addition to these these two plants looking quite distinct, there does not appear to be any 'transition' forms in nature, which one would expect to see if these two were really the same species. The plants either look distinctly like this, or like a form of agave victoriae-reginae, and nothing in between.


On Feb 22, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This agave looks a bit like Agave victoriae-reginae only it has larger, thicker and less leaves in its crown. The larger and more separated leaves show even more the white pattern left by the leaves that were once on top during development... a very show plant. Slow to sucker, but it seems to. Don't know much else about it, other than it is often used in crosses with other agaves.

Recently some authors (lumpers) have included this into Agave victoriae-reginae, but a well respected collector and grower of Agaves is pretty firm about these being two completely separate species as they are not even remotely close to each other in Mexico, and their enviroment varies quite a bit- this one growing on hills and flat, rocky areas, while A victoriae tends to grow on very steep hil... read more