Agave parryi


Agave parryi (Parry's Agave)

Agave parryi (Parry's Agave) is a slow-growing succulent that forms attractive symmetrical rosettes of blue-gray to gray-green leaves with…

Agave parryi Growing Guide

Parry's Agave is a succulent plant that can readily grow in a range of conditions from USDA zones seven to ten. In Europe it is classified as a hardiness zone H2 plant, thus it is considered to be a cold tolerant plant but is not tolerant of being frozen.

This plant is easy to grow as it tolerates drought and survives in a range of soils. Ideal soil requirements are a well-draining rocky, sandy soil that keeps the amount of moisture to a minimum.

Ideally plant in an area that provides full sun, though it will grow fairly well in a partially shaded area.

Parry's Agave specimens can grow to a width of between two and three feet (60 to 90 cm). For most of the time plants reach about 20 inches high (50 cm). However after a few years the plant produces tall flowering stalks, which can reach 20 feet high (6 m).

Agave parryi blooms in the summer. The flowers are yellow.

If you live in an area that has large amounts of rain and snow then it is best to shelter Parry's Agave from cold, damp conditions.

Artichoke Agave, Parry's Agave

Fairly compact and cold tolerant, Agave parryi var. truncata (Artichoke Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming tight rosettes of broad, short, thick, silvery-blue leaves with conspicuous reddish-brown teeth and terminal spines. While infrequent, mature plants (over 10 years) flower only once. They are topped with a magnificent flowering spike that can reach 15 ft. (5m), and bears dense clusters of yellow flowers, tinged orange in bud. The flowering rosette dies after flowering, but new rosettes formed by offsets will root at the base of the mother rosette to form colonies. Amazing when massed in a sunny garden or in large containers.

  • Grows up to 1-2 ft. tall (30-60 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). May reach 15 ft. (450 cm) with flower stalk.
  • Easily grown in slightly acidic, sandy or gravelly, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Dry soil and drought tolerant.
  • Great for beds and borders, city gardens, rock gardens, succulent gardens or Mediterranean gardens. Ideal as an accent plant in sunny borders or in decorative containers.
  • Plant away from foot traffic: the needle-sharp spines on the leaf tips can be a hazard to humans and pets. Don't plant this Agave near paths or walkways
  • Attracts hummingbirds and birds but is deer resistant
  • Virtually disease free. Watch for scale insects.
  • Propagate by offsets.
  • Use caution, safety glasses, long sleeves, long pants, well covered shoes, and gloves when cutting this plant.
  • Native to Arizona, Texas and New Mexico

Agave Species, Parry's Agave, Parry's Century Plant, Maguey


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Simpsonville, South Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:

On Aug 27, 2019, silktree10 from East Haven, CT wrote:

Most clones of A. parryi will rot in southern New England, but a few manage to survive in well drained soil and a sunny exposure. Drainage is very important if they are to survive our wet winters (z7a). The clone that I have pups profusely (away from the plant), but I don't think it has a cultivar name. This species has a wide habitat range, with some plants native to pine forests around the Flagstaff area, So provenance is very important if anyone is to try them on the east coast.

On Jun 9, 2017, longjonsilverz from Centreville, MD wrote:

Agaves are very difficult in this area (Eastern Maryland, zone 7) This one however has been successful so far handling winter with no damage despite the high amount of rainy and wet conditions that are typical in this area, especially in winter/spring. This plant can really hurt if you fall on it so beware. Full sun and VERY well drained soil seem to be the key with any desert plant in the Mid Atlantic.

On Mar 11, 2014, Succubus14 from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Tough as nails, left outside on a west facing 5th floor balcony for

12 hours during the January 2014 "polar vortex" (lows in the upper teens w/ some wind). Got nervous and brought it inside in the morning. ZERO damage.

On Dec 8, 2011, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:

Mine offset like crazy ! they filled in the two small beds they were in and they look amazing . I love my fat rapidly offsetting blue artichokes . And the best part I do nothing for them just leave them in the baking Texas sun all summer and they are happy campers .

On Jan 20, 2011, bmcdanel from Lawton, OK wrote:

I have two of these, the first agaves in my experimental garden. It has proven very hardy, surviving everything that Oklahoma can throw at it without damage for four years now. It is a medium plant that fits nicely into a modest garden. I saw some of these blooming in Sunsites, Arizona, last year and look forward to the day that mine do the same. Then, I'll start them over from pups.

On Jul 28, 2009, baiissatva from Dunedin,
New Zealand wrote:

Zone 9b coastal Otago New Zealand

An intensely beautiful little agave with some frustrating habits, at least in my experience. Comes in as many 'forms' as you can poke a stick at (I have four, the standard pale greenish, the scalloped-leaf one thats smaller, a steel-blue smaller variety and 'truncata', all pretty different) and they each seem to have slightly different properties.
The scalloped leaf version is small and sulky and difficult, even when pampered, stubbornly refusing to flourish, suffering sunburn, leaf tip die off, discolouration, large leaf blemishes etc despite being in a sheltered pot, and with it's achingly slow leaf turnover, always looks a sickly eyesore. Im *this far away from composting it.
The small steel blue version is a lovely, f. read more aster growing plant with slight more upright leaves, a slight bloom and sturdier genes. Resists everything thrown at it, including cold sogginess and shade, and always looks a happy little chappie, even pupping slowly for me. If you see this one, grab it, it's a great doer, no trouble and very attractive.
The truncata form is super-handsome, but SLOW like you would not believe to settle into a new situation and get those big silvery leaves growing and turning over. Mine was admittedly a puny invalid when it arrived but after patiently excising every iota of rotty old leaf and giving it maximum attention, only now, after two years, has it started deigning to grow instead of sulk. God only knows how long those beautiful specimens we see in the books have taken to get that fabulous.
I also have the 'regular' version which seems smaller, a little more sea-green and with a slightly different, less chunky leaf form than truncata. Got it from a great grower as a tidy young spec and it's never looked back, growing slowly but gratifyingly no matter what's thrown at it. Very attractive pot subject.
Will post pics of my different forms when it warms up.
Because they are so tough and fibrous and slow, it's possible to 'catch' base rot before it's too late. Uproot it and cut away the affected pieces, leave to dry out for a week, and then pot up (mounded) in a highly pumiced mix in dry half shade until new roots are well established. Ive saved a number of struggling parryi this way and theyve all come through the surgery. Dont leave those browning leaves hoping it will go away.
Given excellent drainage they seem to cope with winter water. Cold doesn't seem to be an issue to a healthy plant and Im not surprised to see the zone info people are posting here. Their tough stiff leaves resist hail damage well so they're good candidates for planting out in an exposed situation.
Very nice, just very slow.

On Nov 30, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

On Feb 6, 2006, treeguy15 from trenton,
Canada wrote:

This plant does very great in zone 5b no winter damege these agaves are very hardy. they took on a -13F or lower no protection.

On Jun 29, 2005, cmac1964 from Waxahachie, TX wrote:

I live in Ellis Co., TX. Plant was here when we moved in a year ago. Started to grow stalk mid-May of this year. Stalk is about 8 ft. high. Blooms appeared from top to bottom, but has started to die off from bottom to top. Now has 2 new plants growing on either side at the bottom . Didn't know the name of plant until I found this site. Anyone know what happens to it now? And do I need to do anything special to promote the new growth?

On Mar 31, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant takes a long time to settle in and look good. My 2" pot pup is finally looking good after 4 years. My 1-year-old one gallon plant still looks bad, but no worse than the pup did after its first winter.

On Jul 11, 2004, domehome from Arroyo Grande, CA wrote:

I've had this agave for over 10 years and it is a favorite in my garden. I have given away many of the pups and have seen them survive, even in zone 6. A very slow growing agave, parryi is a real beauty and worth the wait. Pups enough to share but not to much to control.

On Feb 11, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great looking highly ornamental Agave with somewhat wide, short pale blue leaves and a dark, sharp terminal spine and small, but very sharp lateral leaf spines. Suckers, but tends to be slow to sucker, so easy to keep control of. Some varieties, like truncata, hardly sucker at all. Very tolerant of drought and just about anything you can do to it. Old plants are highly prized and make great landscaping items, as well as excellent potted plants. Likes full sun, but will tolerate shade.

Seems to be a variable species with several described varieties. And even those seem to have a wide variety of forms within them. Some have narrow leaves, some less blue than others (A pattonii 'variety' decided greener), some have slightly hooked spines, some have big teeth, some smal. read more l. And probably some that I see listed as this could be something else. Some varieties of this species are more popular than others since they are either variegated or have very wide, ornamental leaves. However, the 'reg' form is still quite attractive and makes a good landscape specimen.

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