Echeveria Agavoides: Tending to the Wax Agave

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Echeveria agavoides may be small, but it packs a powerful punch of color. Its triangular leaves are pale green with bright red tips. This contrast is an absolute eye-catcher!

The species name “agavoides” was inspired by this plant’s agave-like appearance. It has almost no stem, and the leaves grow upwards before fanning out. An average height of 5 inches makes this one of the shortest Echeverias. It’s also low-maintenance and a great succulent for beginners.

Products You’ll Need For Your Wax Agave:

Quick Care Guide

Echeveria agavoides
Echeveria agavoides is known for its reddish-edged succulent leaves. Source: LynnK827
Common Name(s)Wax Agave, Molded Wax Echeveria, 
Crested Molded Wax Agave, House Leek 
Scientific NameEcheveria agavoides
FamilyCrassulaceae
Height & Spread5″ tall, 8″ wide
LightFull sun, partial shade
Water“Soak and dry” method
SoilWell-draining
FertilizerHalf-strength, liquid, balanced or low-
Nitrogen
Pests & DiseasesAphids, Mealybugs, root rot

All About Wax Agave

Zones 9-11 are best for this native Mexican plant. Echeveria agavoides thrives in a warm and dry environment. It grows well in containers – especially when it needs to be brought in during cold weather.

In late spring and summer, mature wax Echeverias grow pink and yellow flowers. These blooms grow on lanky stems four times the height of the plant.

The wax agave plant is usually a solitary rosette. It rarely grows offsets, so plant it with other succulents if you want a fuller look.

Types of Molded Wax Echeveria

Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony'
The ‘Ebony’ cultivar of echeveria agavoides has purplish-red edges. Source: succulentville80

Because it’s commonly used to make hybrids, molded wax agave has many forms. Here are some of the most popular.

‘Prolifera’

Also called Carpet Echeveria, this succulent has full and tight rosettes. Its leaves are bright green with tips so light they’re more pink than red. Prolifera grows offsets much more willingly than other agavoides, enabling it to spread out over time.

‘Maria’

The green and red contrast boldly and beautifully in this form. The red tips often end up rimming the entire top half of each leaf. This bright color also extends slightly down the leaf’s spine. The rosette of this form is larger than the basic agavoides; it grows up to 14 inches wide.

‘Lipstick’

The lime green leaves of this plant indeed look like they’ve been lined in lipstick. Dark red rims the edges, adding a delicate touch to the whole rosette.

‘Ebony’

While not black as the name implies, this is definitely a darker form of wax Echeveria. The leaves are greyish green, giving the succulent a shadowy look. Instead of just tips, the whole edge of each leaf is bright red. This coloring gets darker towards the center of the rosette.

‘Aquamarine’

This form is only red on the very tips of the blue-green leaves. The rosette is extra chunky, giving this succulent some cute personality.

Echeveria Agavoides Care

Close up of leaf tips
A close up view of the wax agave leaf tips. Source: John Rusk

In general, Echeverias are tolerant of most settings. However, they will thrive only under conditions similar to their natural habitat.

Light & Temperature

Molded wax agave needs full sun or partial shade. Full sun will bring out the brightest colors this plant has to offer. If grown indoors, it will be happiest in a south or west-facing window.

Ideally, wax agave should be in cooler temperatures during the fall and winter. About 40-75° F is preferred, though it tolerates light frost. The cool temperature may further saturate the colors of this Echeveria.

Water & Humidity

Echeveria agavoides handles and even depends on drought. To keep it happy, use the “soak and dry” method. Give your succulent a deep drink and then let the soil dry out. Once dry, hold off on watering for a few more days for good measure.

Water your Echeveria at the roots, keeping the leaves dry. This will prevent rot and disease. During the winter, water your plant less and keep it out of high humidity.

Soil

Well-draining soil is essential for succulent success. There are numerous specialty soils that are made for succulents and cacti. It’s also easy to make your own! Mix one part potting soil with one part perlite to ensure decent drainage.

The consistency of your soil needs to be loose enough to allow water to pass through quickly. Most importantly, make sure that your succulent’s container has a drainage hole. If your wax agave is left sitting in water, it can develop root rot.

Fertilizer

Side view of leaf tips
The tip color is visible on both sides of the leaf pad. Source: John Rusk

Because they naturally grow in low-nutrient soil, succulents don’t require fertilizer. However, if your Echeveria agavoides is looking dull, you can give it a boost. Use a half-strength liquid fertilizer on occasion during the spring and summer. Choose one that is balanced or low in nitrogen.

Worm castings are another option for upping the soil’s nutrients. While they’re fairly low nutritionally, the microbial population helps your plants absorb what’s already in the soil. You can top-dress around your plant with castings.

Repotting

If you think your wax plant needs more space or some fresh soil, repotting is fast and easy. Your succulent will transplant best during the spring or summer. Let the soil dry out before you take your Echeveria agavoides out of its container.

Repot your plant in dry soil, carrying over the least amount of old soil as possible. Once planted, don’t water your wax plant for a few days. This will allow the roots to settle in and heal from any damage.

Propagation

By far, the easiest way to propagate molded wax echeveria is by leaf cuttings. Select a healthy leaf and gently twist it off the stem. Take care that you remove the entire leaf so it will propagate correctly.

Let your cutting dry out for a few days. You’ll see the wound where it was taken off the stem callous over. Once dry, lay the cutting on top of well-draining soil. Mist it with water until roots grow and settle in the soil.

To speed up growth, use a rooting hormone and cover the cutting to keep it moist.

Pruning

The only pruning wax agave needs is dead leaf removal. It’s normal for old leaves to wilt and fall off. If they’re still clinging onto the stem, gently remove them by hand. Throw away the dead leaves instead of leaving them on the soil. If left in the pot, they may invite pests.

Troubleshooting

Wax agave
Wax agave remains fairly small, unlike actual agaves. Source: FarOutFlora

Growing Problems

Succulents are vulnerable to sunburn if they’re suddenly moved into a bright location. When relocating, move your Echeveria agavoides gradually so it can adjust to the sun. Alternatively, put it outside on a cloudy day so it will acclimate as the sun comes out. Before moving your plant, water it well so it won’t dry out.

Pests

Aphids are small, colorful, and hungry for succulent sap. Keep them away by ensuring your Wax Echeveria is dry. You can also apply diatomaceous earth to the soil and neem oil to the leaves. If you notice some aphids hanging out on your plant, use an insecticidal soap to eradicate them.

Mealybugs are most likely to show up if there are dead leaves lying on the soil. What starts as a good hiding spot turns into a permanent home for these pests. Keep them away by removing debris and preventing excess moisture.

Mealybugs can be identified by their nests, which are white and cottony. Also, the honeydew they secrete attracts ants. Remove infestations by washing the succulent leaves with insecticidal soap. You can also kill the insects one by one with a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Diseases

The only disease you really need to worry about is root rot. Succulents are prone to this when they’re constantly wet. If not fixed, the rot can lead to bacterial infections.

Rotted sections of Echeveria agavoides will turn black or brown and mushy. You’ll need to cut them away with a clean knife. This includes digging up the plant and removing rotted roots. After all the rot is eliminated, let your succulent dry out for a few days. Only then should you plant it in new soil and continue watering.

For good measure, you can apply a fungicide to your after replanting. This will ensure that no bacteria remain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Award Winning Molded Wax Agave
An award-winning molded wax agave specimen. Source: Reggie1

Q. Is Echeveria agavoides safe for pets?

A. Yes, Echeveria agavoides is not toxic.

Q. Why are the leaves of my House Echeveria agavoides bleached?

A. They’re most likely sunburnt. Sadly, there’s nothing you can do to remove the damage besides wait for the leaves to grow out. To prevent further burn, move your succulent to a spot with less direct light.

Q. My succulent grew a baby! What should I do with it?

A. That’s completely up to you. If you like the look of two succulents together, just let them be. If you’d rather have two separate plants, cut the pup from the parent plant. After letting both plants dry out for a few days, repot them in dry soil.


The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Rachel Garcia
Succulent Fanatic

Lorin Nielsen
Lifetime Gardener

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