Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Controlling Cochineal Insects on Cholla Cactus
July 07, 2011 - We have cochineal insects on a cholla cactus. Will they kill the plant? What should we do to get rid of them if water spraying them won't work?
view the full question and answer

Growth of yucca from seed pods from Saginaw MI
October 05, 2013 - How do you grow a yucca plant from the pods? Do I need to dry out the pods first?
view the full question and answer

Damage to Agave in New Braunfels, TX
August 21, 2008 - In a flower box, I have an Agave on which the leaves have been damaged. It looks as if a deer rubbed his antlers on it. Is there any animal in south central Texas that would try to eat an agave?
view the full question and answer

Worms found in Agave used in tequila
February 06, 2008 - Hi, I am a writer and have been trying to find some referenced information regarding the moth larvae/'worms' associated with Agave and some mezcal beverages - specifically, Hypopta agavis, Aegiale ...
view the full question and answer

Potential longevity of Century Plant bloom stalk from Marana AZ
January 23, 2013 - What is the potential longevity of a Century Plant stalk/bloom? I would like to use it in my yard for ornamentation. Will it last for weeks, months or years or decompose relatively quickly?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.