Agave attenuata is a species of agave, commonly known as the Lion’s tail, Swan’s neck and Foxtail, due to its development of a curved inflorescence, which is unusual amongst agaves.
It is perfect to plant in the most sunny area of your garden, but it’s also happy to be in semi-shade.
The leaves are arranged in rosettes, and are ovate, grey to yellow-green and can reach150 cm in height, 70cm in length by 12-16cm in width, when not in flower.
Flowers are grouped in yellow-green clusters, that can grow to 3 metres in height, giving it it’s common names.
After withering, like the rest of agaves, the specimen dies, so this species is considered to be a monocarpic plant.
It fruits too, which are capsules, but they are not usually seen as they tend to fall off, before they finish ripening.
Caring for the Agave attenuata is simple, they don’t require pruning – and it can be said it almost takes care of itself!
They need normal, well-drained garden soil, with coarse sand, although they can grow in poor, dry soil.
Drought resistant, it only requires little water during the summer months when the soil is fully dry, and even less the remainder of the year.
Recommended to fertilise once a month, from early spring into late summer, multiplying as it sprouts suckers from the stem, which can be separated when big enough to handle.
Separate them with a clean serrated knife, and plant in individual pots of light sandy soil placed outside, in semi-shade. Snails and slugs can be a problem, as they enjoy eating young leaves!