Agave americana Description: Solitary or slowly clumping succulent rosette that will grow to a height of 70-90(-120) cm.
The var. medio-picta ‘Alba’ is a medium to smaller growing form of Agave americana.
Leaves: Short, lanceolate, narrowed above the thickened base, that arch slightly above the middle of the lamina and this is a characteristic feature of this species. The leaves of this cultivar are pleasantly variegated with a greyish-white to creamy-white central broad band down the centre of each leaf, with grey-blue sharp-spined edges and a long terminal spine.
Flowers: Inflorescence up to 5 m tall (or more) slender, straight, long oval in outline and rather open. The individual flowers are yellow-green and attract hummingbirds. Flower spikes are also variegated.
Blooming season: Summer, however in warmer climates the Century Plant doesn’t bloom until it is a decade old and not a century! (up to 35 years or more in cool climates) and the plant dies after flowering.
Cultivation and Propagation: This is a very popular cultivar but it is relatively slow to grow and propagate, it tends to do less well than the standard blue-grey species plant, hence the price. They do well in full sun or a lightly shaded area.
In winter watering this plant can be done once every 1-2 months. There is no need to mist the leaves. Agave americanais theoretically hardy to -9° C , particularly when dry ,but this cultivar is more tender, and it is best to avoid severe freezing temperatures. Use extreme care when working around or trimming any Agave. Not only are the spines wicked and cause a painful swelling if one is poked, but the sap is somehow caustic.
Propagation:: Exclusively by suckers Remove the basal suckers (if available) in spring or summer and let the cuttings dry for a few days before inserting in compost.