En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Wednesday - June 06, 2007

From: Wilmington, NC
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Care for century plant
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the best way to care for a Century Plant? We were given one as a gift and don't know what to do with it.

ANSWER:

Agave americana (American century plant) does well in sandy, medium, or clay Loam or in rocky soil. It is best used in mass or as focal point. It benefits from some extra moisture in very dry conditions, but is very tolerant of heat and xeric conditions. Takes light shade better than some other agaves. Protect from teen winter temperatures to avoid damage. Keep mature width of plant in mind when placing in the landscape to avoid sharp leaf tip spines. While it is small enough, it may be kept in a pot to make it easiesr to protect from low temperatures. In spite of the name, it will mature and flower in about 8 to 10 years. Although the mature plants dies after flowering, it will put out offshoots or "pups" which may be planted to propagate the plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


American century plant
Agave americana

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Removal of mature agaves
November 20, 2007 - Hello- we live in Austin, TX and have a bed of different varieties of agave. They are near the walkway to our house, and are so out of control they pose a hazard to our guests walking up to the house...
view the full question and answer

Possibly non-native succulent identification
March 27, 2008 - My mother has a plant that grows on a stalk, 2.5' tall, leaves are about 4-5" on the mature plant. The leaves are scalloped on the edges and seeds grown in the scallops & fall off and make new plan...
view the full question and answer

Killing a century plant from Burton TX
August 08, 2013 - How do you kill the century plant, they are taking over?
view the full question and answer

Yuccas and prickly pears for Warren MI
February 11, 2009 - What type of yuccas and prickly pears will survive in the Detroit, Michigan area? Also, can I grow Santa Rita prickly pear in a pot?
view the full question and answer

Damage to Yucca rostrata from Nottingham, England
February 26, 2014 - Hi, I have a yucca rostrata which has had its head snapped off in high winds (we live in Nottingham, England) we have left the trunk in the ground, will this re grow?? What is the best thing to do wit...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center