13 Agave Varieties for Your Indoor or Outdoor Garden

Agaves are often synonymous with deserts and hot, arid climates. But a few varieties can survive winter temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you want to grow agave indoors in containers or outdoors in your gardens, there is an agave variety for you! Gardening expert Kelli Klein dives into 13 varieties for your indoor or outdoor garden.

A close-up of the Octopus Agave plant, showcasing its unique leaves with curled edges and spiky tips. The vibrant green foliage creates a striking contrast against the background of lush greenery and the facade of a sunlit house.


Why grow agave? Well, these low-maintenance plants can add beauty with their stunning foliage in both your indoor houseplant collection and your outdoor landscaping. Plus, most varieties will flower at least once in their lifetime. Growing both indoors and outdoors has its pros and cons. 

For growing indoors, you’ll want to choose small, compact varieties that do well in containers. You won’t need to give any consideration to your growing zone or climate because indoors, you can create the perfect conditions. Indoors, they prefer a bright, sunny window and need to dry out completely between waterings. 

For growing agave outdoors, mature size does not matter as much. Since you don’t have to contain the plants in a pot, you can choose varieties with a wide range of mature sizes. Some can reach up to 10 feet tall and wide when grown outdoors. For outdoor plants, you’ll need to consider your USDA growing zone and whether or not it will get too cold for these outdoor plants to survive. 

Indoor Varieties

As mentioned above, agave varieties that do well indoors consist of small and compact varieties. These varieties may be pint-sized, but they aren’t short on beauty. Each variety has its own unique foliage, and they’re perfectly suited for life on a windowsill.

Agaves do not require much in terms of care for a houseplant. Watering them too often or fertilizing them can cause them to die. If you often find yourself forgetting to water your houseplants, then agave might be the plant for you! 

When growing indoors, you want to choose a container with a drainage hole, but ditch the saucer as you don’t want to create any standing water. Overly moist soil can be detrimental. And while these varieties are perfect for indoors, you can grow most of them outdoors, too!

Blue Glow

A close-up of Blue Glow Agave plants, highlighting their succulent, blue-green leaves gracefully arranged in a rosette pattern. These drought-resistant plants thrive under the radiant sunlight, adding a touch of elegance to its arid surroundings.
This variety thrives in full sun but can also tolerate dappled sunlight.

‘Blue Glow’ Agave is a relatively new cultivar, which is a hybrid of Agave attenuata and Agave ocahui. And while it doesn’t resemble its parent plants, it does showcase stunning dark blue-green leaves with yellow and red margins. These margins seemingly glow when backlit by the sun, thus the name ‘Blue Glow’. 

Full sun is best for this variety, but it can also handle dappled sunlight. Its mature size is two to three feet tall and wide, which makes it perfect for growing in containers indoors. 


A large artichoke agave sits in a garden with low-growing flowering plants.
Native to Central Mexico, this plant boasts high drought tolerance and requires minimal maintenance.

Agave parryi var. Truncata has wide, blue leaves with maroon spines that resemble an artichoke. Hence the common name, artichoke agave. This variety is native to Central Mexico, which makes it extremely drought-tolerant and low-maintenance. 

It does best in full sun, which can be provided indoors by using reflected sunlight as well. You can create reflected light by using foil, strategically placed mirrors, or supplement with indoor grow lights. Its mature size is two feet tall and three feet wide

Twin Flowered

A close-up of a Twin Flowered Agave, distinct leaves with pronounced serrations catch the eye. Positioned in direct sun, these agave leaves display a vibrant green coloration, creating a visually appealing contrast against the backdrop of the surrounding environment.
When mature, this agave reaches a size of 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

Agave geminiflora, or twin-flowered agave, has long, slender leaves which set it apart from other agaves. The long, thin foliage resembles a pin cushion. Its appearance can add uniqueness to your indoor succulent collection

It does best in full sun, which, as mentioned above, can be provided indoors by using reflected sunlight as well. Its mature size is three feet tall and four feet wide. 

Agave schidigera

A close-up of Agave schidigera, showcasing its striking leaves with prominent serrated edges and a beautiful rosette formation. The plant is elegantly positioned amidst white stones, accentuating its desert charm. In the background, a rustic brown wood enhances the natural aesthetic.
This agave is resilient to temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius).

Agave schidigera has curly white fibers on each bright green leaf. The white markings on the leaves increase the contrast of the green foliage. This variety is native to central Mexico. 

It requires full sun or filtered afternoon shade. Its mature size is one foot tall and one to two feet wide. 

King Ferdinand

A close-up of King Ferdinand Agave leaves reveals their regal and robust structure, marked by deep green hues and intricate patterns. Planted in a rustic brown pot, the agave stands as a focal point in a garden adorned with various potted plants, creating a harmonious botanical ensemble.
The mature size of this agave is 1-2 feet tall and wide.

Agave Ferdinandi Regis bears a striking resemblance to ‘Queen Victoria’ Agave. So much so that it was once thought that it was a naturally occurring hybrid of Agave victoriae-reginae, but it has since been identified as its current variety.

It is also known commonly as King of The Agaves. This variety has dark green leaves, white margins, and sharp terminal tips. It grows in an open rosette, which looks beautiful in a container. It requires full sun and needs an especially sunny window when grown indoors. Its mature size is one to two feet tall and wide. 

‘Compacta’ Queen Victoria

A close-up of the 'Compacta' Queen Victoria Agave reveals succulent leaves arranged in a symmetrical rosette, featuring sharp, spiky edges. The plant thrives in cream-colored soil, showcasing a harmonious blend of textures and colors.
With dark green leaves and striking white markings, this variety surpasses the contrast of King Ferdinand.

Agave victoriae-reginae ‘Compacta’ is a compact, container-friendly cultivar of Agave victoriae-reginae. You can see this variety at desert botanical gardens. It is one of the most beautiful agaves.

It has dark green leaves and vibrant white markings. Similar to the above-mentioned ‘King Ferdinand’, but with even more contrast. It requires full sun, preferably a very sunny window when grown indoors. Its mature size is less than one foot tall and one to two feet wide. 

Outdoor Varieties

When selecting an agave variety to grow outdoors, you’ll need to consider your USDA growing zone. Here, we’ll include that information with each variety so that you can decide if it will grow outdoors in your area. The growing zone indicates the average low temperature in your area. This is important to know for multi-annual plants like agave since they will be spending the winter outside. 

Agaves are native to the Southern United States, Central Mexico, the Caribbean, and parts of South America. For this reason, they grow best in Southwest and Mediterranean climates, but some are quite cold and hardy. To survive the winter, like most agaves, they will need well-drained soil. Standing water in colder months can cause damage and plant death. 

Golden Flowered Century Plant

A close-up highlights the intricate beauty of a Golden Flowered Century Plant, with its graceful branches adorned by golden-hued flowers. Against a serene garden backdrop, the plant emanates tranquility, creating a captivating scene of nature's elegance and vibrant colors.
This evergreen succulent creates a perfect rosette from its grey-green leaves.

Agave chrysantha is also known as the golden flowered century plant. This evergreen agave variety forms a perfect rosette made up of grey-green leaves. The sword-shaped leaves grow in a mound, giving it a nice round contour. The leaves are lined with spines along the edges and have a sharp terminal spine. 

It requires full sun and well-drained soil. It is both drought and deer-resistant. Its mature size is two to three feet tall and four to five feet wide. 


A close-up reveals the Harvard Agave plant's succulent leaves, characterized by spiky edges and a vibrant green hue. It thrives in brown soil amid scattered dead straws, basking in the warmth of direct sunlight.
For optimal growth, Harvard Agave should be planted in a full-sun location.

Agave havardiana is also known as ‘Harvard’ agave. It has beautiful silver-gray foliage with fleshy and broad, cupped leaves. The leaves are heavily lined with dark brown teeth and topped with a very sharp black terminal spine. 

This variety is extremely cold hardy and can be ground outdoors in USDA growing zones 5-10. It can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius)! Although it can handle the cold, it requires a full-sun location, especially in the winter months. Keep that in mind when choosing your planting site, as the sun will be lower in the sky during the winter. It has a mature size of two to three feet tall and three to four feet wide. 

Mountain Agave

Unlike many other agaves, this solitary plant does not produce offshoots or pups.

Agave montana, or mountain agave, is another variety that resembles a large artichoke. It has fleshy, broad, upright, apple-green leaves with large cinnamon-red teeth along the margins and a short terminal spine. This solitary agave does not produce offshoots or pups as many other agaves do

Mountain agave can be grown in USDA growing zones 7-10 and withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius). It can survive in full sun to partial shade conditions. Its mature size is three to four feet tall and four to five feet wide. 

Narrow Leaf Century Plant

A close-up reveals the unique texture of Narrow Leaf Century Plant's leaves, showcasing intricate patterns and fine spiky edges. The sunlight highlights the vibrant green hues, creating a visually stunning display of nature's intricate design.
The narrow-leaf century plant boasts long, slender gray-green foliage with a brown terminal spine.

Agave striata is also known as the narrow-leaf century plant. And for good reason! This variety has long, slender foliage that is gray-green with a brown terminal spine. The leaves can be upright or curve upwards slightly.

The foliage can also show slight purple tones during cold weather. This variety produces abundant pups and offshoots, so you’ll be able to propagate many plants if you happen to fall in love with it in your landscape. 

This variety can be grown in USDA growing zones 7-11 and withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius). It requires a full sun location to ensure a healthy and long-lived plant. Its mature size is one to two feet tall and two to three feet wide.   

Whale’s Tongue

A close-up of the robust leaves of Whale’s Tongue Agave commanding attention with their smooth, fleshy texture and a hint of blue-green coloration. Surrounded by a peaceful landscape of diverse plants, grasses, and imposing rocks, they bask in the warm, direct sunlight.
This agave can endure temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-21 degrees Celsius).

Agave ovatifolia is also commonly known as whale’s tongue agave. The leaves are broad, cup-shaped, and range in color from gray to powdery blue, just like a whale’s tongue! The leaves are lined with teeth along the margins and a tall terminal spine. 

Whale tongue agave can be grown in USDA growing zones 7-11 and withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-21 degrees Celsius). It requires full sun to thrive. Its mature size is three to four feet tall and four to six feet wide. 

Cabbage Head  

A close-up of the Cabbage Head Agave plant reveals thick succulent leaves with serrated edges, forming a rosette pattern. The leaves showcase a striking blue-green hue, creating a visually captivating and resilient desert aesthetic.
To flourish, this plant requires full sun and prefers slightly acidic, sandy soil.

Agave parrasana, or cabbage head agave, resembles a head of cabbage, as its name would suggest. This award-winning agave is slow-growing and forms a densely packed rosette of overlapping blue-gray leaves. It is a winner of the Award of Garden Merit given by the Royal Horticultural Society.  

Cabbage head agave can be grown in USDA growing zones 7-11 and withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-21 degrees Celsius). It requires full sun and prefers slightly acidic, sandy soil. Its mature size is one to two feet tall and wide. However, this small plant can produce a flower stalk up to 20 feet tall! 

Queen Victoria Century Plant

A close-up of the Queen Victoria Century Plant, its fleshy leaves exhibit a symmetrical arrangement, radiating from a central point. Planted in rich brown soil, the vibrant greenery contrasts beautifully against the earthy backdrop, while a large brown stone in the background adds a touch of natural elegance.
This plant is an impressive agave variety perfect for outdoor landscaping.

Agave victoriae-reginae, also known as the ‘Queen Victoria’ century plant, is a show-stopper of agave for your outdoor landscaping. We discussed its compact variety above as a great indoor garden addition, and the full-grown variety is just as stunning. It has the same dark green leaves with vibrant white markings. It is also a winner of the Award of Garden Merit

This variety can be grown in USDA growing zones 7-11 and withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-21 degrees Celsius). It requires full sun to produce the best and most beautiful leaves. Its mature size is one foot tall and one to two feet wide. 

Final Thoughts

Growing agaves both indoors and out can add a great low-maintenance component to either your houseplant collection or your outdoor landscaping. While agaves are mostly equated with hot and dry climates, there are a few varieties that can survive cooler temperatures. If you are in North America, look for varieties native to your area, as those will do best in your climate.

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