The Agave Americana is also known as the Century Plant. The plant is also sometimes called American Aloe, though not actually related to the Aloe at all. The reason for this name is due to the fact that it looks like the African Aloe. This plant originally came from Mexico. However, this is now naturalized in many areas of the United States and around the world. These plants are considered succulents. Succulents are plants that retain water and can therefore go without watering for extended periods.
When planting these plants leave a six foot space between them and the next plant or your walkway. Their spikes spread out. This space is necessary in order to prevent overcrowding. These will grow tall and will grow out as well.
In order to thrive this succulent will need at the very least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Well drained soil is another must for these. They will not do well sitting in pooled water. They should be allowed to dry out after being watered before they are watered again. Never plant these where water will pool around them.
Protect yourself from the spikes. These are sharp and can easily cut you. Wear gloves and long sleeved shirts whenever you are working with them. Wearing goggles is also a good idea to protect the eyes from sharp spikes. It is wise to plant these away from areas where children will be playing. The spikes are very dangerous and can do some damage if you are not careful.
When you are initially planting you should ensure that it is planted down to the same level as it was when it was in its container. Dig the hole deep enough and two as big around. Work some plant food into the soil before placing the plant into the hole. This helps them get some nutrients.
A plant will need extra care right after it is planted into the ground. Watering well is vital during this time. Be sure to use a watering can or a house with the nozzle set on gentle to water. Water from overhead to allow the leaves to trap some of the water and allow it to trickle down to the roots where it is needed. Be sure to give enough water so it is able to reach down to the roots.
You can grow this in pots if your climate is not suited to growing them outdoors. Of course they will not get as big as those that are able to grow outdoors in the ground. The pot can be kept outside in the spring and summer and brought in once the temperatures are cold. This way everyone can enjoy this interesting plant no matter where they live.
The Agave Americana takes a long time to bloom. In idea climates it will take ten years. In colder climates it can take much longer. Sometimes as much as sixty years. Once the plant blooms it dies. However, as the plant grows it produces offshoots. These offshoots will continue to grow.