Agave Colorata (a-gaw-vee Kol-oh-ray-tuh), also known as Ash Agave or Mescal Ceniza. This Agave plant is a small, shrublike broadleaf evergreen perennial in the Asparagaceae family.
This rosette-forming succulent agave grows between 2’ – 4’ feet tall and produces a red to yellow-orange bud when blooming.
Agave Colorata is native to coastal, northwestern areas of Sonora, Mexico. It thrives in warmer climates, with full sun and low water. They will not thrive indoors.
Agave Colorata Care
Like many Agave varieties, Colorata Agave plants are low maintenance.
Size and Growth
Agave Colorata growth varies based on how they are grown. When grown in the landscape, they tend to grow smaller 2′-4′ feet tall. In their natural habitat, plants can reach 10′ feet tall.
Flowering and Fragrance
Agave Colorata begins as a rough in texture, blue-grey leafed plant. After slow-growing for 10-15 years, mature plants bloom during the springtime. Atop a flower stalk the beautiful red buds open to yellow and orange blooms.
In cooler climates, the flowering can take up to 25 years.
Light and Temperature
These succulent-like plants are more suited for full sun to light shade areas. The best environment has a bit of shade and warmth (spring to summer months).
These plants are more tolerant of droughts if planted outdoors. Agave Colorata has been shown to be very tolerant of frost.
Watering and Feeding
Though drought tolerant in the summer months, it grows faster if provided with regular watering. Allow the soil to dry between waterings.
In the winter, Agave Colorata needs enough water to keep the leaves from drying out. It is not possible to grow as an indoor houseplant.
Soil and Transplanting
The plant likes well-drained soil in containers or the ground.
When transplanting Agave Colorata, wash the soil away from the roots.
Fill the bottom of the pot with fresh soil. Place the plant in the pot and fill in all open spaces with a new potting mix.
Water the plant and keep the soil moist, but do not overwater it.
Grooming and Maintenance
To keep the plant looking beautiful year-long, prune leaves when they become old and start to die.
Dead leaves suck nutrients from the plant. When pruning trim the dead leaves as close to the stalk as possible. Also, watch out for sharp spines on the leaf tips.
How to Propagate Agave Colorata
Propagation of Colorata is done through seeds and removing offsets or pups.
To grow Agave from seed, check out our How To Grow Agave Seeds article.
Propagating Colorata Agave Pups
- Separate pups from the mother parent using a sharp knife
- Pups sometimes twist off by hand
- When removing pups get as many roots as possible
- If the pup has no roots, go ahead and plant it. Often they send out roots and grow fine.
- Plant in a small pot in a well-draining potting medium
- Care for them as established plants
- Keep young plants watered, be careful not to overwater
Agave Colorata Pests or Diseases
Few pests attack the Agave plant. Be on the lookout for the Agave weevil. These pests will attack and destroy the plant if not treated.
Agave Anthracnose is a fungal disease that occurs in wet and humid conditions. This can be a result of:
- Too much rain
- Plant growing in too much shade
- Overwatering the plant and not enough drainage
Look for sunken lesions and wood-like leaves that produce a red-brown mass of spores.
To get rid of Agave Anthracnose, remove plant parts that contain active lesions. Use care to destroy the infected plant parts to avoid the spread of the disease.
To prevent Agave Anthracnose:
- Ensure the Agave Colorata plant is in full sunlight and well-drained soil.
- Use a soaker hose rather than an overhead sprinkler to prevent spreading the disease.
- Disinfect garden tools after use to avoid any more potential infection.
- Space plants apart to allow for better air circulation.
Agave Colorata thrives in warm, sunny climates though they can survive in some cooler conditions. They are very low-maintenance plants.
In terms of Agaves, this one is very pretty potted and offers owners a different experience.