Agaves are succulent plants of a large botanical genus of the same name, belonging to the family Agavaceae. Mainly from Mexico, they occur also in the southern and western United States and in central and tropical South America. Over 300 species of Agave have been described, but only about 200 are currently recognised. This mix is a wide selection with many unusual forms. The plants are long-lasting and trouble free. The plants can reach 4 feet high and live up to 15 to 20 years.
The plants have a large rosette of thick fleshy leaves generally ending in a sharp point and with a spiny margin; the stout stem is usually short, the leaves apparently springing from the root. Agaves have the unique ability to store water within their swollen leaves, stems, and roots. Prolific vegetative growth and offsetting at the base of the plant or through stolons, usually maintains a clump of plants thus compensating for loss of flowering rosettes. A few species remain solitary, relying on seed production for survival of the species.
During flowering a tall stem grows from the center of the leaf rosette and bears a large number of shortly tubular flowers. Most species are monocarpic, although a few can flower several times during their life.
Hardiness zones 7-10, (-15øC/5øF, 1øC/35øF). Once rooted, with few exceptions, they can take full sun in all but the hottest climates. Excellent drainage is essential for most Agaves. They like a little extra water to keep vigorous growth going, but can withstand some periods of drought. In the Summer, a mature plant can use up to 2-4 gallons of water a week, but may only need 1 gallon per week in the Winter.