Agave desmetiana


Agave 'Joe Hoak'

Agave 'Joe Hoak', also known as Agave desmettiana 'Joe Hoak', is a fast-growing succulent that forms attractive rosettes of leaves with…

Plants→Agaves→Smooth Agave (Agave de-meesteriana)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit:Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle:Perennial
Sun Requirements:Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness:Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
Other: Channeled and recurved
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flower Color:Yellow
Inflorescence Height :8 feet
Suitable Locations:Xeriscapic
Uses:Will Naturalize
Resistances:Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Toxicity:Other: The juice from many species of agave can cause acute contact dermatitis that produces reddening and blistering lasting approximately one to two weeks. Itching may recur up to a year later without a visible rash. Dried parts of the plants can be handled sa
Propagation: Seeds:Can handle transplanting
Other info: Sow in shallow pots with a well draining, sterile mix 50/50 organic/inorganic of coarse perlite, pumice sphagnum peat or good compost. Avoid manures. Irrigate from below. Provide bright, indirect light and a transparent cover to retain moisture.
Propagation: Other methods:Cuttings: Stem
Other: Bulbils
Containers:Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous:Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Medium-sized, offsetting, green or glaucous agave with channeled, arched leaves in a characteristic urn-like shape. Leaf margins may be unarmed or have a few, irregular teeth or (rarely) have regular, small teeth. Origin unknown. Member of the Sisalanae.

Expect some confusion about the name. A. de-meesteriana is the current name for the plant also described in 1866 as A. desmettiana and discussed by Gentry in 1982 using that name, which was later corrected to A. desmetiana. The alternate (hyphenless) spelling A. demeesteriana may be used by some.

Frequently seen in an attractive, marginally variegated form in cultivation. Related to "Joe Hoak", which may be a hybrid or a cultivar.

Agave Species, Smooth Agave, Dwarf Century Plant

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: horrida subsp. horrida
Synonym:Agave desmetiana
Synonym:Agave grandidentata
Synonym:Agave horrida macrodontha
Synonym:Agave horrida var. laevior
Synonym:Agave maigretiana


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




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:


Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

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:

Sarasota, Florida(2 reports)

Gardeners' Notes:

On Mar 31, 2018, DMichael from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Agave desmettiana var. ‘marginata’ is one of only a dozen or so Agave sp. that will perform well in Ft Lauderdale, FL’s subtropical / tropical 10b climate, and is one of the most attractive Agave species, as well as of a manageable size for landscaping, which can be grown here.

On Apr 17, 2015, shezcrafty from Houston, TX wrote:

I love this plant! As a dwarf agave it only gets to be a few feet tall. I have them growing in full Texas sun and some in partial sun. I have tried some in shade, but they did not grow. They put off a few pups for me through the years, but now that a couple have bloomed and the pups are growing on the flower stalk I have more pups than I need! The bees LOVED the flowers on this plant and enjoyed them for well over a month. The plants that I have in full sun have been growing for 7 years and have just bloomed and sprouted pups, so they will be dying soon. But, I have read that this agave can live for up to 10 years.

On Nov 18, 2007, ScottBB from Norwalk, CA wrote:

Grown in full sun in Southern California. Watered by rain only, once established, for over 8 years. Many rhizones close to plant.

On Jan 27, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nice looking agave though the variegated form is by far the most common in cultivation. It is 'almost' user-friendly' having very little if any spines long the leaves. There still is that nasty terminal spine, though. This form has bright to pale green leaves that tend to burn in full sun. One of the agaves that seems to almost prefer shade. These are profusely suckering plants and quickly form thick thickets. Fortunately they don't send their suckers very far.

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