Agave vilmoriniana


Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass' (Variegated Octopus Agave)

Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass' (Variegated Octopus Agave) is a succulent perennial that forms a solitary rosette of green leaves with creamy-yellow…

Agave Species, Octopus Agave, Amole, Century Plant, Maguey

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: vilmoriniana (vil-mor-in-ee-AY-nuh) (Info)
Synonym:Agave eduardi
Synonym:Agave houghii
Synonym:Agave mayoensis


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:


Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Cathedral City, California

Gardeners' Notes:

On Oct 21, 2015, LaWolf8 from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

I'm in Palm Sp area, I have one triangle off my patio and wanted one of these as a fountain. However, a local nurseryman said they can't take this harsh all day south sun. They have their 15 g plants on an east facing side of shade structure. ah well, looking for another plant for that area.

On Jul 6, 2015, lasertrimman from Tucson, AZ wrote:

Beautiful plant, but limited life span. Ten years, inflorescence and done. Sit back, watch the flowering stem and then replace the corpse.

On May 17, 2009, Agaveguy from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Mine is grown in medium shade under evergreen Live Oaks for frost protection. Freeze damaged the first two or three years when young. Now about 10 years old, 4 feet wide and 3 feet high. No freeze damage in past 7 years.

On Nov 18, 2007, ScottBB from Norwalk, CA wrote:

Grown in full sun in Southern California. Watered by rain only, once established, for over 8 years.

On Sep 14, 2004, sonotaps from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Native to cliffs from southern Sonora to Sinaloa states, Mexico, at 2000 to 5000 feet elevation. I don't have any trouble with it Phoenix at 1100 feet elevation.

Don't kid yourself, I wouldn't trust this past low 20's. They aren't your 'Grand Canyon snow' agaves. Definitely more sensitive to frost. It makes sense given their native range.

Almost 'tropical' in appearance than typical agaves. No sharp points. Has a more lush look. If it is in full sun, it needs more water in Phoenix so I supply a fair amount of additional water in the summer for them to look their best and for faster growth.

They are a good agave to grow for people who don't typically like agaves.

On Jul 14, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the more 'user friendly' Agaves, having soft spines and no teeth along the leaf margins. It is also a nice showy plant with an attractive sea green coloration making it an excellent landscape plant. Xeriscape gardens here in the Southwest often have one or several of these in them. It is also a solitary species unlike most other Agaves, so you don't get that massive messy look you can with others of this species. Propogation is by bulbils off the old flower. Seed is difficult and unreliable.

Went back to some plants that were flowering this year (2004) and the old flower stalks were covered in little plants. not sure how big some of these little Agave will get before they fall off, and how many of those will survive, but sure is a lot more convenient to. read more just pluck off baby plants from a stalk, than have to mess with seed. there have to over 500 babies on some of these flower stalks. Most probably will not make it or the entire planet would be covered with this species.

Octopus Agave

Prized for its graceful foliage, Agave vilmoriniana (Octopus Agave) is an evergreen succulent perennial adding great interest in the landscape. It forms a solitary rosette of long, slender, gray-green leaves that arch and undulate, resembling the tentacles of an octopus. The toothless edges of the leaves curl inward, particularly around the tips. Spectacular golden-yellow flowers atop a 10-20 ft. spike appear on mature plants (after 10 years). This plant is monocarpic and dies after flowering. While it does not offset and form pups, it produces abundant plantlets along the bloom spike that you may want to replant in order to ensure a continuing presence of this beauty in the garden. This plant makes a dramatic focal point in sunny borders or decorative containers.

  • Grows up to 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) and 5-6 ft. wide (150-180 cm).
  • Easily grown in sandy or gravelly, well-drained soils in full sun. Once established, water infrequently during the hot season. Drought tolerant.
  • Great for beds and borders, rock gardens, succulent gardens or Mediterranean gardens. Ideal as an accent plant in sunny borders or in decorative containers.
  • Deer resistant. The flowers produce nectar and are attractive to birds and hummingbirds
  • Virtually disease free. Watch for scale insects.
  • Native to Mexico

Agave ‘Blue Glow’ at a Glance

Agave is a Greek name that means adorable. And the most part that makes it draw this attribute is its record-breaking nature to yield tall leaves and bloom just once during its lifetime. Even though this succulent is a slow-growing type, it produces a stunning rosette pattern of blue-green leaves that have saw-like margins.

While it takes about 7 years for your Blue Glow plant to mature, you’ll begin to see some tangible results every spring or the early weeks of fall after propagating it. This particular hybrid is just one celebrity landscaping plant among over 200 varieties under the Agave genus. Apart from holding a solid tolerance against drought, this plant is also deer-resistant and doesn’t react to soluble salts in hard water.

How Big Does It Grow?

Blue Glow is usually a bit smaller compared to other Agave types you might come across. It grows up to 18” inches in height but can reach 24” inches if you hone its growing conditions. It also spans to about 2” or 3” feet during its lifetime. As a slow-growing succulent, one of the best times to propagate your Blue Glow plant is during spring or the early months of fall.

Plants→Agaves→Octopus Agave (Agave vilmoriniana)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Toxicity: Other
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Sow in shallow pots with a well draining, sterile mix 50/50 organic/inorganic of coarse perlite, pumice sphagnum peat or good compost. Avoid manures. Irrigate from below by submerging in water to 1/2 height of pot. Provide bright, indirect light and a
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Bulbils
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

This is a very rewarding Agave to grow. It generally has a very nice shape as its common name, 'Octopus Agave,' already suggests. It does tend to lean towards the sun a bit as it grows. Given its relatively thin leaves, it is surprisingly resilient in terms of sun exposure here in Arizona, where plants almost seem to do best exposed to as much sun as possible. It does like some summer water, but takes neglect very well.

Size-wise, this plant would fall in the large-medium sized Agave category, it does not get humongous, but it does attain a pretty good mature size in the 4-5 foot tall range and 6-8 foot diameter. While I have seen some pups/offsets, most plants are solitary, but it makes up for that when flowering!

As Agaves go, this is also one of the less dangerous ones. Its leaves are generally toothless, though some have very, very small teeth that are closely spaced, but they tend to be pretty soft and not harmful. There is a terminal spine, but the leaf ends are pretty pliable and there is not a lot of danger of impalement, which you do get with many other Agaves. It is always a good thing to be careful around Agaves, though.

In terms of reaching mature flowering age, Agave vilmoriniana is relatively quick, with most plants reaching flowering size in 5-10 years. When it does flower, it puts up a tall spicate inflorescence that tends to remain erect and is densely populated with flowers, as can be seen in the many pictures associated with this entry. The flowers are yellow, and while the plant does set seed, it also produces an incredible abundance of bulbils on its flower spike that are best harvested when there are 3 sets of leaves on the bulbil. The bulbils readily root and make this a very easily propagated plant. As with almost all Agaves, the main plant will die after flowering, though I have seen some specimens hang on, looking somewhat reasonable for many months after the flowering event is over.

I grow my plant in full sun and only during the hottest parts of the summer does it suffer a bit, but generally a regular once per week/two weeks watering regime keeps it looking good.

Watch the video: The Agave Harvest

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