Agave Houseplant Care – Growing Agave As A Houseplant

Agave Pot Planted as a Houseplant
(Image credit: Daria Dombrovskaya)

Agave is a great addition to the landscape, soaking up the sun and adding attractive foliage and occasional blooms to your sunny beds. However, most agaves can’t survive winter cold, so growing them in these areas requires bringing agave plants indoors. For this reason, you’ll want to grow agave in containers.

Maybe it’s too much of a hassle to bring them in and out with the seasons. You might wonder if you can grow agave as a houseplant. The answer is yes, you can, although some types may grow better than others if kept exclusively indoors.

Growing Agave Plants Indoors

There are several types of agaves, some with spines and some without. If you have children or pets in the household, this should be a consideration. The roots of these plants grow outward instead of down, so it’s best to grow potted agave in a wide, shallow container.

Locate them in a sunny area when choosing a spot for the potted agave. They need just the right amount of sun. These plants usually grow in a full sun location in their native habitat. But, if you’re not sure how much sun your plant was getting before it came to live with you, acclimate it gradually to full sunlight. In between, keep it in a bright light area.

Too much direct sun can sometimes cause sunburn, so keep this in mind as a part of agave houseplant care. A western-facing window is sometimes a great spot for potted agaves, depending on the light that comes through it. Research the agave you want to grow indoors before locating it inside to make sure you can provide the proper growing conditions.

Agave houseplant care includes watering as necessary for most succulents. Water more during the spring and summer growing seasons, letting the soil dry between. Limit watering in fall and winter. Keep the soil slightly moist during these times.

Common Types of Agave Houseplants

Century plant (Agave americana) is bracted instead of spined. This plant has attractive, blue-green leaves and reaches 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 m.) in optimal conditions. It is monocarpic, meaning it dies after flowering, but it’s called the century plant, as it is said to only bloom every 100 years. While it might bloom more often, it is not likely to flower when grown as a houseplant.

Fox Tail agave (Agave attenuata) is a larger agave, which also can reach 10 feet (3 m.) in height and 5 feet (1.5 m.) across. Although it likes bright sunlight, it takes some shade for part of the day. Plant in a large container for indoor growing and consider a south-facing window, as well as those looking toward the west.

Octopus agave (A. vilmoriniana) is an interesting type to grow. With arching and twisting leaves, this agave looks like a four-foot (1 m.) octopus. Leaf margins are somewhat sharp, so locate the plant on a table in full sunlight, away from little hands. This plant also prefers some afternoon shade after a full sun morning.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.