Hello, I recently received a fairly magnificent houseplant as a gift, however it arrived without any identification and I'm afraid that my lack of knowledge as to its requirements may be killing it. I would very much appreciate it if someone would be able to place a name to my new prized possession before i accidentally murder it, cheers!
Mystery houseplant help
That plant is a succulent, I am pretty sure it is an Agave. There are a couple of species with that banded coloring and hooked-spine edges.
They thrive in something close to full sun here in California, so I would put it in the sunniest place you have.
They store water very well, so soak the soil thoroughly when it needs water, but then let it go pretty dry between watering.
Once someone properly IDs it you may be able to keep it outdoors. Depends on the frost tolerance. If you find it will grow outdoors, make sure it has very good drainage, for example plant it on a mound, or in a container that breathes like unglazed clay (terra cotta), add sand to the soil.
There are several species and varieties that look similar, but stay smaller.
Given that this is presented as a house plant, I wonder if it is one of the smaller types.
Agave americana 'Cornelius' for example stays about 1-2' compared to 6-8' for A. americana 'Marginata'.
Agave murpheyi rodney is similar, grows to 2-3'.