Agave Americana, Century Plant - Plant
Description for Agave Americana, Century Plant
Agave americana, also known as century plant, is a member of the family Agavaceae. These succulent plants thrive in the warmer regions of the U.S. where freezes are not a problem.
Century plants are quite drought tolerant and easy to grow, which makes them perfect additions to a garden where the gardener wishes to xeriscape. Despite the tale that they bloom once every century, the century plant will produce its bloom in approximately ten years. Growing to a height of 12 feet or more, century plants make good specimen plants in rock gardens.
|Common name||Flower colours||Bloom time||Height||Difficulty|
|Century plant.||-||-||Up to 12 feet.||easy to grow|
Planting and care
Agave have a large tap root and do not transplant well, so choose an appropriate site when planting agave. The majority of the roots are surface roots and do not require a deep hole if planted when young.
|Grow century plants in areas that receive full sunlight. Tolerant to some shade, century plants will grow best in high light conditions.||Plant century plants in soils that are sandy, sandy loam, rocky, or clay loam. Grow century plants in soil that will not retain moisture, as the plant will not tolerate flooded conditions. Amend heavy, non-draining soils with sand.||Water the plant diligently for the first week and then cut it to half the second week. Taper off even more until you are only watering once every week or two.||Room temperature is best for the century plant in the active growing season, while cooler conditions, near 50 degrees Fahrenheit, should prevail in the dormant period.||Fertilize in the spring with an all-purpose, granular fertilizer such as a 10-10-10. Fertilize container-grown plants with a water-soluble fertilizer, every other month.|
Caring for Agave Americana
- Prune off the bottom leaves as they begin to turn brown and die. Use a pruning saw to remove the leaves. Wear gloves, because the spines are sharp and can cut your hands and arms.
Typical uses of Agave Americana
Culinary use: Apart from its use for medicinal purposes, the flower stalk as well as the heart of Agave americana possess a sweet flavor and can be eaten after roasting them. The seeds of this plant are pulverized to produce a type of flour which is used to make bread.
Ornamental use: In Mexico as well as Central America people often use the century plant as fencing. The dense hedgerow formed by the plants having long spiky succulent leaves is really impervious to people as well as cattle. Many people use the century plants as ornamental plants and often grow them on rock gardens, in boundaries.
Medicinal use: Century plant yields a sap that is employed medicinally as a laxative and a diuretic. The juice extracted from the leaves of the plant is applied externally on bruises and is also ingested for treating a number of problems related to the gastric tract, including constipation, flatulence, indigestion and dysentery. In addition, the juice of the leaves is also said to be an effective remedy for jaundice. Precursors of steroid hormones are also derived from the century plant leaves.