Agave Species, Foxtail Agave, Dragon-Tree, Spineless Agave, Century Plant, Maguey

Agave attenuata

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: attenuata (at-ten-yoo-AY-tuh) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

This plant is monocarpic

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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(2 reports)

San Dimas, California

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

San Mateo, California

Santa Barbara, California

Sherman Oaks, California

Soquel, California

Spring Valley, California

Winters, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Lakeland, Florida(2 reports)

Miami, Florida

North Port, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Kailua, Hawaii

Kaneohe Station, Hawaii

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Maunawili, Hawaii

Caguas, Puerto Rico

Houston, Texas

Killeen, Texas

Red Oak, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 28, 2020, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to be able to go to Malaga in Spain, normally I wouldn't be able to afford it, so it was quite a boon really to find somewhere with a different atmosphere than old blighty.

Unfortunately by the second day I was sunburnt because silly me forgot to take my suncream, and the irony was, I nearly slipped on someone elses suncream whilst by the poolside. Anyway fortune would strike as I spied an Aloe barbadensis growing by the pool, so took the opportunity to squeeze some gel out and apply it to the sunburn. Not the best idea in hindsight, as it stunk of rotting flesh, and I came out in a big rash three days later.

Later on the week while I was at the hotel, I spotted one of these Agave attenuatas, which I considered to be q... read more


On Mar 31, 2018, DMichael from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Agave attenuata is one of only a dozen or so Agave sp. that will perform well in Ft Lauderdale, FLs subtropical / tropical 10b climate, and is one of the most attractive Agave species which can be grown here.


On May 3, 2017, shnbwmn from Cape Town,
South Africa (Zone 10a) wrote:

Lovely plant, very forgiving. Very much like Yucca in that you can pull/cut it out the ground and leave it laying somewhere for weeks before replanting elsewhere. I've found that it grows best in light shade with regular watering. Looks good in mass grouping.


On Jan 29, 2017, MrKelly from Redding, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Loved the look of the plant and it did great in the summer. I knew our winters would be close to its cold limit. 28 degrees F. killed it. If you get any frost don't get it unless it can be protected.


On Jan 14, 2017, AFinSD from San Diego, CA wrote:

Have seen this plant in various places in San Diego. My spouse and I are particularly fond of the variegated type.

We think they look much nicer than just the plain green ones.


On Sep 19, 2015, StuKin from Stamford, CT wrote:

I grow this plant as a tender, indoor, ornamental plant and never expose it to frost. I love the "architectural" look of the spiral of silver/green leaves. When the plant gets too big and top-heavy, I just cut off the top and make a new plant. The leaves break easily, but the lack of spines makes it easy to handle. Side shoots can either be left on the mother plant or removed to make more plants. Turn the plant frequently to encourage it to grow straight, and keep it in the heaviest container to prevent it from toppling over and breaking its leaves. A well grown specimen will be a sure attention grabber.


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 [email protected] 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


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!


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.


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.


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?


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.


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 archin... read more


On Mar 2, 2003, henkmaters wrote:

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