Agave macroacantha (Black-Spined Agave)

Agave macroacantha


Plant Type: Succulent
Family: Asparagaceae
Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Watering: Low
Colors: Gray-Green, Blue-Gray
Size: 1-2 ft (30-60 cm)
Hardiness Zones: 9-11
Soil Type: Well-draining
Soil pH: 6.0-7.5
Propagation: Offsets, Seeds
Toxicity: Toxic to Pets and Humans

Agave macroacantha, commonly known as Black-Spined Agave, is a stunning succulent with blue-gray leaves and striking black spines. It’s perfect for adding visual interest to gardens and container arrangements and it’s easy to care for.

How to Care for Agave macroacantha

Sun Exposure

The Black-Spined Agave thrives in full sun to partial shade. Provide at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. If grown indoors, place it near a south-facing window for optimal light exposure.

Watering Agave macroacantha

Agave macroacantha is drought-tolerant and requires minimal watering. Let the soil become thoroughly dry before watering again. In hotter months, water every 2-3 weeks; during colder months, reduce to once a month.


This succulent prefers well-draining soil to prevent root rot. A cactus or succulent mix with added pumice or perlite provides ideal drainage and aeration. Ensure the container has drainage holes to avoid standing water.

Temperature & Humidity

Black-Spined Agave can tolerate temperatures between 20-90°F (-6-32°C). It is hardy in USDA zones 9-11. This succulent can withstand light frost but protect it from freezing temperatures. If grown in a colder climate, consider growing it in a container and moving it indoors during winter months. Agave macroacantha prefers low humidity environments, making it suitable for arid and semi-arid regions.


Black-Spined Agave is an eye-catching succulent perfect for gardens and containers. Thriving in full sun to partial shade, it needs minimal watering and well-draining soil. Hardy in USDA zones 9-11, it tolerates temperatures between 20-90°F and prefers low humidity environments.

How to Propagate Agave macroacantha

Agave macroacantha


Black-Spined Agave produces offsets, or “pups,” at its base. To propagate, carefully remove a pup with a clean, sharp knife or trowel, ensuring it has some roots attached. Allow the offset to dry and callus over for a few days before planting in well-draining soil. Water sparingly until the new plant establishes itself.


Macroacantha can also be propagated from seeds. Sow seeds in a well-draining seed mix and cover lightly with soil. Keep the mix moist but not waterlogged. Place the container in a warm, bright location, and germination should occur within 2-4 weeks.


Propagate Black-Spined Agave through offsets (pups) or seeds, ensuring proper removal, drying, and planting in well-draining soil for successful growth.

Fertilizing Your Agave macroacantha

Black-Spined Agave has low fertilizer requirements. Feed it with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength once a year during the growing season. Over-fertilizing may lead to excessive growth and weaken the plant.

Common Pests and Diseases

Agave macroacantha is relatively pest and disease-resistant. However, it may attract mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites. Remove pests by wiping the leaves with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or use a mild insecticidal soap.

Root rot is the most common disease, often caused by overwatering or poor drainage. Prevent root rot by using well-draining soil and avoiding overwatering. If the plant is affected, remove it from the soil, trim away the affected roots, and replant in fresh, well-draining soil.


Fertilize Black-Spined Agave sparingly with diluted, balanced fertilizer. It resists most pests and diseases, but watch for root rot caused by overwatering or poor drainage.

Where to Buy

You can buy Agave macroacantha from Etsy

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