Agave ferdinandi-regis is a once very rare and sought after agave commonly known as the ‘King of Agaves’ with a distinct compact usually no more than 45cm spread habit the open rosettes formed with beautiful sturdy triangular dark bluey-green thornless leaves which are edged with a reddish colour and tipped sharp red spine. To add to the interest the central bud and imprinted leaves have a white intentation that remains as the agave grows, all very attractive bearing a similarity to it’s closest cousin, Agave victoriae-reginae, another rather regal agave. By all accounts only found in the wild growing in a restricted area of Saltillo area in Coahuila in Mexico, luckily for us seed has been collected and now a few plants of this special agave are now available at nurseries each year as Agave ferdinandi-regis is a slow growing species.
Coming as it does from a very arid region in Mexico Agave ferdinandi-regis is very efficient at managing what little rain it recieves naturally and as such is best kept on the dry side absolutely essential during the darker winter months. Even though this charming agave can tolerate temperatures well below freezing keeping it dry enough could be tricky even with a ‘roof’ over it’s head as most of you will know is my favourite way of overwintering outdoor agaves. I would suggest growing in a container, easy given it’s relatively small size and compact growth, and bring undercover for winter. It could even be grown as a cool houseplant on a sunny windowsill. Obviously for best results an open free draining gritty compost is essential. watering and feeding occasionally during summer.