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Fox Tail Agave for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

  • Fox Tail Agave
  • Fox Tail Agave
  • Fox Tail Agave
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Agave attenuata
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Are you looking for a plant that can be the center of attention in your garden, giving it height and a sculptural look when blooming? If so, the fox tail agave, Agave attenuata, may be the right choice for you. This attractive evergreen succulent has handsome silvery-green leaves throughout the year. But it's the unique flower stalk, which rises up to 10 feet in the air before swooping down again like a fox's tail, that is the plant's main attraction. So unique is this flower stalk that it's difficult to describe, though it's worth noting that it is also called the swan's neck agave and the lion's tail agave. Like other agaves, this is a sub-tropical plant, but it thrives easily when grown in containers, and when brought inside during the winter, it can be grown just about anywhere in the continental U.S. Here are a few more reasons to consider adding this stunning plant to your garden:

  • The fox tail agave tolerates most soil types and is easy to grow.
  • It is deer-, pest-, and disease-resistant.
  • Unlike most agaves, it doesn't have spines or teeth on the leaves.

Plant Care

Sunlight

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Fox tail agave does best in partial to full sun — at least four hours of direct sunlight a day.

Watering

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Water whenever the soil is very dry or you are experiencing a drought or heat wave.

Fertilizing

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Fertilize with a half-strength portion of a slow-release, balanced fertilizer designed for landscape plants.

Planting and Care

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by Mary Van Keuren | Gardener (30+ Years Experience) – last update on September 16, 2022

Planting instructions

Site your agave in soil that drains well and receives at least four hours of direct sun a day. Unpot the plant and tease out any encircling roots, which can girdle the tree and slowly kill it. Dig a hole that’s twice the width of the root ball and slightly shallower. Place the plant in the hole so that the top of the root flare, where the roots meet the trunk, will be about an inch above the soil. Holding the plant upright and steady, fill in around the roots with topsoil, tamping down as you go to eliminate air pockets. Water thoroughly. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch such as bark chips around the root zone to conserve moisture and hinder weed growth, but don’t let it touch the trunk itself to avoid rot.

Watering and nutrients

Like most succulents, fox tail agave does not need a great deal of watering. If the weather is very hot or dry, your plant will appreciate a drink, but at other times, only water if the soil 2 inches below the surface is dry. If you are growing your agave in a container, you may need to water more frequently, especially during the summer months. Agaves are light feeders and do not need much fertilizer. If you wish, you can give it a half-dose of a fertilizer designed for succulents or for landscape plants in the spring.

Pollination

Agaves of all kinds are pollinated through the actions of insects, and, for some desert species, bats, but the best way to reproduce your fox tail agave is by looking for the small offsets that may appear around the base of the trunk, which can be separated and planted elsewhere.

Pruning

Fox tail agaves do not need much pruning. Prune out any diseased or damaged leaves when you see them. As new growth appears in the center of the plant, the old outer leaves will slowly die out and can then be removed. After the agave has bloomed, you may want to cut back the prominent flower stalk, but it can also be left on the plant for visual interest.

Pests and diseases

Almost no common pests or diseases bother the fox tail agave. Occasionally, slugs or snails may be seen on your plant, but these can be hand-picked and disposed of if they are a problem.

Achieving maximum results

In most of the U.S., fox tail agave is best grown in a container and taken inside during the winter months. The plant is hardy down to roughly 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so if your temperatures dip below that, bring it indoors and place it by a sunny window until spring. Growing this agave in a container isn’t difficult. Choose a pot that is about twice the size of the root ball and use a good-quality potting mix when planting. The only additional care it may need over a plant grown in the ground is that you should water it somewhat more frequently.

FAQs

How big does fox tail agave get?

The slow-growing fox tail agave should eventually reach a height of 4 to 5 feet, with a mature width of 6 to 8 feet. The extravagant flower stalk, however, may climb up to 10 feet tall, making it a good choice in the garden when you are looking to add vertical interest.

Where can I grow fox tail agave in the ground?

These subtropical plants can grow outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 11. That includes parts of coastal and southern California, as well as southern Texas and Florida. It will also grow very well in Hawaii. As a container-grown patio plant that is brought inside in the winter, however, it will grow well throughout the rest of the continental U.S.

How is fox tail agave best used in the landscape?

This agave works well in borders and beds where you need a plant to fill a larger space. It looks at home in rock gardens as well as Mediterranean-inspired gardens. When grown in a pot, it thrives in the partial shade under a pergola or patio.

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  • deer-resistant
    Deer Resistant
Mature height
4-5 ft. with 8-10 ft. flower spike
Mature width
6-8 ft.
Sunlight requirement
Full-Partial
Growth rate
Slow
Botanical name
Agave attenuata
Shipping exclusions
AZ
Grows Well In Zones
4-11 patio / 10-11 outdoors
map
Growing Zones: 4-11 patio / 10-11 outdoors i Growing zones help determine if a particular plant is likely to grow well in a location. It identifies the average annual minimum winter temperatures across the U.S. provided as a map by the USDA.
(hardy down to -10°F)

Fox Tail Agave

Agave attenuata
  • Ships in 1-2 days
  • 1-Year Warranty Eligible
  • Pots or accessories are not included unless specified in the product options.
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