Agave filifera

thread agave
Elegant space-age rosettes of steely-green leaves with a halo of threads flower at maturity on a single 8ft wine-color tower. Makes a dense impenetrable colony over time.
height 2–3ft
width 2–3ft
tolerates Drought, Heat, Pots, Neglect, Wind
Agave are extremely drought tolerant, and many need no supplemental irrigation in coastal California. They will however look better and grow faster if they are given additional water, especially during summer.
exposure Full Sun – Part Shade
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose, Low Needs
origin C Mexico
8, 9, 12–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Most agave, including this one, are monocarpic, meaning that a head will grow larger and larger over time, building up energy, then send off a spectacular flower and afterward decline and die. With pupping varieties like A. filifera, they grow stolons at the base, constantly replacing the older bloomed out heads with new ones, which then grow larger and flower, continuing the life cycle.
Agave, even very large ones, are surprisingly well suited to pot culture. Agave that would normally be ten feet in the ground tend to settle into even small pots and stay in harmonious balance. Every few years, if they start to stall, you can remove them and trim back a third of the roots and remove any pups. Sometimes they get very root bound and it can be beneficial to bottom water, setting them in a saucer of water for a day.

Special Interest

When agave set pups they can easily be removed and propagated. It’s best to do this once they start to establish and have some of their own roots. Since this one pups vigorously it’s one of the best for propagation.

One of the best ‘home defense’ tools when planted along a fence line or beneath windows, as it creates a dense impenetrable mass of heads. Plant every 2-3 feet for best results.

More Info

Agave filifera is clump-forming and often confused with Agave schidigera, which is single headed and has somewhat longer and thinner leaves.