Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Agave
Agave mitis

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: mitis (MIT-iss) (Info)

Synonym:Agave botteri
Synonym:Agave bouchei
Synonym:Agave celsii
Synonym:Agave haseloffi
Synonym:Agave micracantha

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

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

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:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is monocarpic

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:
From softwood cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive drdeadlift On Mar 8, 2010, drdeadlift from Scotts Valley, CA wrote:

I have two A Celsii obtained from the UCSC Arboretum. Neither has many spines and are easy to handle. They are in full sun; get baked in summer and soaked in winter and tolerate it. I may have two cultivars as one is 12' diameter after 3 years and the other only 5" after 5 years. No suckers yet.

Positive Agaveguy On May 17, 2009, Agaveguy from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

My A. celsii have no spines on the edges of the leaves and a relatively soft spine at leaf tip. It is one of the "safest" agaves to work with. The do great in part shade. I grow them under the edges of Live Oaks and under Texas Persimmon. Heavy shade makes for a straggly plant. Haven't tried them in too much sun yet. Have never had any offsets (pups). When they bloom I get a few bulbils on the bloom stalks which readily grow into new plants.

Neutral baiissatva On Sep 11, 2008, baiissatva from Dunedin
New Zealand wrote:

Zone 9b, Coastal Otago, New Zealand.
Though I probably shouldnt complain about this beauty since our conditions are not very kind to it, I must say I find it exasperating.

I have a lovely rich apple green specimen which I have pampered right from the start in a pot, rushing out at three in the morning when I suspect a frost to shivvy it under cover, protecting it from excess rain etc etc. I have bled from the eyes for the sake of this darn thing and all Ive got to show for it is a sulky damaged rosette with rot spots.
Its graceful leaves are very flimsy and will crease at the slightest provocation, which in our moist coastal conditions leads to brown rot and a ruined symmetry. It is also pock marked by hail, meaning its appearance is shot for a year while it turns over new leaves. Grrrrr! It seems to be pretty fussy about water- too little and it looks dry and wont grow, a drop too much and it rots out.

On the plus side, its lovely emerald colour, smooth waxy leaves and pure form make it highly desirable in a collection. If you have a dry, sheltered spot you probably coulnt go wrong. If you have a wet winter and risk of hail, save yourself some anguish and give it a miss.

An update- after procuring a 'regular' (non apple green variety) celsii pup and pretty much neglecting it all winter Ive just noticed that it's fine, holding plenty of leaves with no sign of rot and is a pleasing shape, unlike it's pampered cousin. Isn't that always the way- the pretty ones are high maintenance while the plain are eager to please! Darn it.

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

Nice blue-gray looking plant (though can be bright green)with the usual sharp spines along the leaves and a large terminal spine at the end of each. Eventually forms large colonies from constant, but nearby suckering. Not a common species in cultivation. From eastern Mexico.

2011 Kew Gardens is now considering celsii to be a synonym for Agave mitis var. mitis


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

Clayton, California
Fairfield, California
Reseda, California
San Leandro, California
Scotts Valley, California
Austin, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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