Agave Blue Glow [a-GAH-vee] is a relatively small sized, slow-growing succulent plant developed at Rancho Soledad Nurseries of Rancho Santa Fe, California by horticulturalist Kelly Griffin.
The plant is a cross between Agave attenuata (a. attenuata) and Agave ocahui (a. ocahui).
It’s a member of the Asparagaceae (Lily) family and similar to the Agave ‘Blue Flame’ but much smaller.
This hybrid Agave plant type is one of about two hundred under the genus Agave.
The genus name is derived from the Greek, agauos, which means admirable and probably refers to the tall, elegant flower spikes the plant produces once in its lifetime.
Agave Blue Glow Plant Care
Size & Growth
Blue Glow is a beautiful smaller Agave attaining a height of 18″ – 24″ inches and a spread of 2′ – 3′ feet.
The blue-green leaves grow in a solitary rosette formation with a clumping growth habit.
The leaves are about 18″ inches long and about 1½” inch wide.
The blue-green leaves are sturdy, thick and rigid and adorned with a bright red margin and a thin, yellow inner line.
Although the edges of the leaves are not sharp, the tips of the bright red terminal spine are quite sharp.
Flowering & Fragrance
Like the popular Agave americana this monocarpic Agave has a bloom time once in its life, and then it dies.
The flower color is yellow and the leaf tips have red margins bearing tiny soft spines and a short red terminal spine.
The short red spine gives each leaf a unique symmetrical rosette outlined appearance.
When grown outdoors, plants typically mature between the ages of ten and fifteen.
If kept indoors, your plant may never flower at all.
At maturity, Blue Glow plants grows a sturdy, straight, 10′ foot high flower stalk.
The flower stalk emerges from the center of the basal rosette.
At its apex, greenish-yellow blooms about 2″ – 3″ inches long appear in attractive, showy panicles.
When the plant has finished blooming, it dies.
Light & Temperature
This compact succulent can grow successfully in part shade to full sun. Near coastal areas full sun is recommended and inland plant in partial shade.
This hybrid is winter hardy in hardiness zones 9 through 11 (USDA zones).
The plant can tolerate a little frost but should be protected against temperatures lower than 25° degrees Fahrenheit (-4° C).
Water Needs & Feeding
Although ‘Blue Glow’ is drought tolerant, with low water needs it grows best with regular watering throughout the growing season, spring and summer.
Reduce watering significantly (or do not water at all) during the winter.
Water regularly in extreme heat.
In areas where this compact Agave is not winter hardy, it’s a good choice as a container plant to be brought indoors for the winter.
Keep your potted Agave in a bright, sunny window and water only minimally.
Do not fertilize as this may stimulate the plant to bloom; whereupon, it will die.
Soil & Transplanting
This succulent can tolerate drought and does passably well in slightly acidic dry soil.
It’s a good choice for areas with shallow, rocky soil.
The best substrate for this Agave is a gritty and sandy, sharp well-draining soil.
When kept as a potted plant, Century Plant appreciates being slightly crowded.
Choose a container a little bit larger than the foliage.
Grooming & Maintenance
Agave requires little or no grooming and maintenance.
If lower leaves wither, trim them off.
You may wish to carefully wipe down the foliage with a clean, damp cloth occasionally to remove dust.
How To Propagate Blue Glow Agave
Unlike non-hybrid Agaves, this plant does not produce any pups on the mother plant.
Since the plant is a hybrid, seeds cannot be relied upon to produce true offspring.
For this reason, when your Agave blooms and dies, you will need to replace it with a brand-new plant.
Agave Pest or Disease Problems
Because this is an Agave, you may find Agave snout weevils to be problematic.
In a damp setting, snails and slugs may eat the foliage.
Additionally, as with all succulents, soggy soil leads to root rot.
Is The Plant Toxic Or Poisonous?
The sap of all Agaves is poisonous.
It should not be ingested, protect your skin and eyes against contact when handling this plant.
Wash up promptly when you finish working with your plant.
This plant is both deer and rabbit tolerant.
Is It Invasive?
Because this plant is a slow-growing Agave attenuata hybrid, it’s not invasive.
Individual plants will thrive in the right climate, but once the plant has finished blooming, it dies and will not leave viable seeds or offsets.
Suggested Uses For Blue Glow
Like its parent – Agave attenuata – Agave ‘Blue Glow’ is a very good choice for rock garden designs, cactus gardens, and small specimen plants in areas where the plant is winter hardy.
In other areas, it makes an interesting and enduring container plant to be moved outdoors in summer and indoors in winter.
A common choice in sunny, low water gardens in warm coastal Mediterranean-like climates.
Plants are especially attractive when planted in a location where the sun can shine through the colorful leaves.
A sunny window is an excellent spot for potted plants both for its edification and because the sun shining through makes the plant even prettier.
As a hybrid, Agave ‘Blue Glow’ brings together all the best traits of its parents Agave attenuata and Agave ocahui.
Its leaves are broader, and its colors brighter than either parent.
The fact the blue glow Agave plant is small in size and does not spread makes it an excellent choice for full sun as a patio or balcony plant or in a very small yard or garden.
Be sure to plant your ‘mini’ Century Plant off the beaten track to prevent injuries caused by its sharp spikes and toxic sap.