Agave 'Blue Glow'

Common Name: century plant 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers
Bloom Description: Rarely flowers (greenish-yellow)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Best growth occurs in sandy/gritty, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerant of light shade. Also tolerant of drought, but best growth occurs when soils receive even moisture during the growing season with significantly reduced moisture in winter. Avoid wet soils. Sharp soil drainage is important. Poorly-drained soils may lead to root rot. Plants will survive a touch of frost, but generally will not survive temperatures below 25 degrees F. Where not winter hardy, these plants may be grown in containers (cactus-type potting mix) that are overwintered indoors in full sun locations with very minimal watering. Best growth occurs when the container is only slightly larger than the foliage rosette. Container plants may also be grown indoors year round.

'Blue Glow' is winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11 where

Noteworthy Characteristics

A large number of ornamental hybrids have been produced over the years from crosses between some of the over 200 named species in the genus Agave.

The genus name Agave comes from the Greek word agauos meaning "admirable" or "noble" in probable reference to the very tall flower spikes found on the plants of many species of Agave.

'Blue Glow’ (Agave attenuata x Agave ocahui) was developed and introduced by Kelly Griffin of Rancho Soledad Nurseries in Rancho Santa Fe, California. It is a small, slow-growing, evergreen perennial succulent of the lily family that forms a solitary symmetrical rosette (does not offset) which matures over time to 1-2’ tall and to 2-3’ wide. Each rosette consists of a dense whorl of succulent, thick, rigid, nearly spineless, chalky blue-green leaves (to 18” long and 1 1/2” wide), each leaf having a thin showy bright red margin edged by an even thinner yellow line and a sharp pointed red terminal tip. Red and yellow colors in the leaf margins are particularly showy when leaves are backlit by sun.

This hybrid is monocarpic (blooms only once and then dies). Outdoor plants typically bloom between the 10th and 15th years. Indoor plants may never flower. When an outdoor plant blooms, it sends up a single, stout, erect, 10-foot tall flowering stalk from the center of the basal rosette of leaves. The flowering stalk resembles a very narrow telephone pole with some branching near the top. Greenish-yellow flowers (each to 2-3" long) bloom in panicles in July-August. Once a plant flowers, it dies and must be replaced with a new plant (no offsets are produced and seed from the last year may not come true).

Genus name comes from the Greek word agauos meaning admirable or noble in probable reference to the very tall flower spikes found on the plants of many Agave species.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Agave snout weevil can be troublesome. Slugs and snails may damage foliage. Root rot may occur, particularly in poorly-drained or overly-moist soils.

Garden Uses

Interesting small selection for rock gardens. Where winter hardy, this hybrid serves as an interesting tropical accent or small specimen. Plants are often grown in cactus or succulent garden areas. Also grows well in containers as an indoor plant.