Agave macroacantha, the black-spined agave is a really architectural smaller sized agave perfect if you love agaves but don’t have the space to accommodate some of the other monsters. Agave macroacantha produces symmetrical rosettes of neat grey-blue leaves beautifully contrasted by black spines and terminal spikes. Rarely growing more than 45cm in diameter this agave is happy in a container or planted out, where if kept dry should be able to withstand temperatures down to minus 5 degrees Celsius. In the wild Agave macroacantha can be quite variable in leaf colour, the plants we grow are a selected form with more attractive bluer leaves.
As with all of the hardier agaves if you want to try growing year-round outside choose a hot sunny position with perfect drainage, add gravel and ideally mulch around the base with gravel too. I always recommend building a roof over the top of treasured agave plants in winter. Simply hammer in 4 stakes around the agave a fix a clear plastic ‘roof’ onto the top of each stake above the agave leaving the sides clear allowing wind to pass through the leaves. Alternately we recommend growing in a pot in full sun from April to the end of October depending on the weather and moving it to a greenhouse, conservatory or even shed for the winter where it can have protection from freezing and wet. No watering will be needed from November to March.