The century plant is the largest agave species. It grows fast and can fan out as much as three feet from the base of the plant. The plant grows naturally in Northern Mexico and Texas but is very amenable to Arizona’s climate. It can be planted in full sun and has minimal water needs, but is also cold hardy, so it will survive the cold snaps that occur in Arizona winters. Your landscaper can help you determine if century plants will work in your outdoor space. This information will help you get to know the plant a little better.
Century Plant Basics
The century plant, or Agave Americana, has a distinct appearance. Its leaves are bluish or greenish gray, thick, and can be very long. They swoop outward from the base of the plant and extend in every direction. The leaves typically have a brown spike on the end, with prickly pieces around the perimeter. It thrives in desert climates but unlike some desert plants, it is also tolerant of cold weather. The plant is extremely common in landscaping throughout the American Southwest and has also been introduced around the world, from China to the Canary Islands to Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
Century plants get their name because they take many years to bloom. Although they typically don’t take a full century, they do often take decades to flower. Like most agave plants, the century plant is monocarpic. That means that it only blooms one time in its lifespan. After blooming, the plant dies, but it leaves behind offsets around the base that can be used for more plants.
Century plants can be planted in full or partial sun. They will grow to be six to eight feet tall and several feet wide at maturity. They can be planted in a garden or large pot of well-draining soil with minimal watering.
Let Complete Landscaping help add century plants and other striking details to your landscape design. Talk to one of our professional landscape designers in Tucson today at (520) 323-8918.