This bluish- grey succulent is believed to originate in Mexico and is also known as the Majestic Agave. A perennial, it can grow outdoors to over 20 feet.
As a houseplant in your collection, it offers an interesting colour and beautiful shape that will complement your display.
Slow growing and a little bit spiky, you will find the Agave Franzosinii is relatively low maintenance.
Let’s check this exotic plant out in more detail.
- 1 Agave Franzosinii Care
- 2 Agave Franzosinii Propagation Step By Step
- 3 Common problems with Agave franzosinii
- 4 Frequently asked questions about the Agave Franzosinii
- 5 Conclusion
Agave Franzosinii Care
The Agave Franzosinii is a drought-tolerant perennial that is really easy to take care of. It likes well-drained soil, preferably slightly acidic. Water only occasionally, and keep it in full sun where possible. It can however tolerate shade better than other variants of agaves. Regarding temperature, it can tolerate occasionally low temperatures to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (around 10 degrees Celsius). Generally pest and maintenance-free, you won’t need to pay this plant too much attention unless of course you are enjoying looking at it!
A beautiful plant with an interesting blue-grey hue (in the featured image above you see a variegated franzosinii though, which is more colorful, featuring greens and yellow), the Agave Franzosinii complements any houseplant collection.
Growing up to 20 feet in the wild, there are no flowers produced until the end of the plant’s life.
Generally living around 30 years, the Agave Franzosinii will produce a yellow flower before it ends its life cycle. In the deserts of Mexico, it will sprout up in another location.
Because the Agave Franzosinii can grow so tall, it is best to keep it in a large pot.
We’d recommend large hallways with enough height, or a conservatory.
It has spikey “teeth” along the edge of the leaves, so best to keep it in an area that is light on footfall. You don’t want to accidentally rub against this one.
Keep your Agave Franzosinii in full sun whenever possible. The hotter the temperature, the more shade you can introduce. But generally, this succulent loves the sun.
As a houseplant, it will do well with window sunlight. However, you should take it outside in the summer months to bask a little in the sun’s rays.
Be careful if you do this of sudden, really strong exposure. Your houseplant Agave Franzosinii won’t be used to this, and could get sunburned if not protected.
If you are taking it outside, make sure you provide midday shade or bring it back indoors if you can’t control this.
When you first get your plant, water it around 3 times a week until the roots are established. Once that has happened, you can ease off. Once a week will be fine from then on. Make sure you let the soil dry out before watering again.
The Agave Franzosinii hates to get wet roots! This can quickly destroy your plant, so keep an eye on the soil for good measure.
If you find a week after watering the soil is too moist, you need to change the mix of soil. See below for some hints.
Talking about soil – as with other succulents, you need to pay a little attention to your choice of potting mix. Agaves – including the Agave Franzosinii – tend to have a weaker root system than other plants, and are vulnerable to root rot.
This is especially true in the house plant environment where potted versions can cause drainage issues. Make sure your soil is well draining. Choose a mix specially made for cacti – a sandy mix, grainy, and light.
Check frequently that the soil is not too moist, otherwise your Agave Franzosinii could be at risk of root rot.
Loving the heat, the Agave Franzosinii does well up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius). At the lower end, 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) would be the lowest it is comfortable with. Try to bring your houseplant outside to the sun in the warmer months whenever possible.
Never expose it to frost by leaving it outside accidentally in the winter sun. Frost will severely damage the leaf tissue and leave unsightly black patches on the surface.
Normal humidity levels are fine for this plant. If you can, expose it now and again to fresh air so it can breathe.
The Agave Franzosinii generally flowers once in its life, and then dies. But you can continue the legacy of this beautiful plant with some simple propagation steps. You will find “offsets” at the base of the mature plant – also known as pups. These are the little guys you need in order to propagate the agave.
In the wild, the plant will leave these in the soil after death. Keep your original plant alive in memory by propagating it!
As we mentioned, this plant can grow really tall! In the wild, up to 20 feet! Make sure the Agave Franzosinii has enough room to flourish. You can get up to 25 or even 30 years out of this plant if you care for it well.
The summer months will see the plant needing sun and warmth for optimal growth.
But in the winter, it can also like cooler temperatures during the dormancy period. As the plant matures, it’s best suited to hallways with good light exposure, or conservatories with lots of space.
Toxicity and injuries
The Agave Franzosinii may be lightly toxic. Be careful of the spikes, as they are not only painful but can also cause swelling. As a result, you should handle it carefully.
Use gloves when working with or propagating your plant. As it grows, do not use any electronic cutting tools such as a hedge trimmer, as this can spread the spikes straight back at you!
Agave Franzosinii Propagation Step By Step
Keep an eye on the offsets and don’t remove them until they are around 8-10 centimetres long. Then, carefully detach them from the Agave’s base. You can do this by giving each one a gentle wiggle until they detach.
Planting your offset
Your offset can be simply planted into a pot of well-draining, sandy soil. Use specially bought cactus soil or make your own mix. You need to ensure it is well rooted before moving to watering. Put each one into their own pots
Watering your offset
Give the pup just a little bit of water so the soil is lightly moist. You will want to keep it this way until the roots are established – perhaps a couple of weeks.
So in the very initial stages, water lightly around three times a week. Following this, you can move to the standard watering schedule mentioned in this guide.
Pots for the offset
Your offset can live in a little pot for around a year until it is well established. Then, you will want to transplant it into a larger pot to give it the space to grow. The Agave Franzosinii will surprise you with how tall it can get! So make sure you have it in later years in a space with enough room for its height.
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Common problems with Agave franzosinii
This plant has a good reputation as hardy, simple to establish, and easy to maintain. Generally, if you follow the tips above, you will enjoy decades with your Agave!
There are however a few problems or issues you should look out for. Here’s a list below of some of the common ones you need to look out for. Act quickly if you suspect any of them, as some can be fatal to your succulent.
This is one of the most common problems you can see with potted houseplant variants of the Agave Franzosinii. The water content of your soil needs to be strictly controlled so as not to risk damage to the roots.
Ensure the soil dries out completely before watering. Root rot is caused by a fungal infection and generally is untreatable. You may notice a soggy or discoloured base, leaves coming away from the stem or wilting.
Other fungal infections
Anthracnose is also caused by consistently damp soil. Instead of the wilting and discolouration of the leaves caused by root rot, this fungal disease causes weird red or orange lesions on the plant. Quickly remove any before they spread to the rest of your Agave Franzosinii.
Insects and pests
Generally, there are few insect or pest problems to worry about with this plant. That’s why it so easy to maintain! One exception however is also directly related to wet soil. Root rot can often be accompanied with Agave Snout Weasel outbreaks.
The adults chew into the rotting tissue and lay eggs, and the young then feast on the plant. Eventually the plant wilts and dies. Make sure you act fast if there are any signs of root rot at all.
You could I guess treat it with a light insecticide in the spring, but it is best to control the risk with optimal soil and watering conditions instead.
Surprisingly, despite the guidance we have given here, the plant can be at risk of under watering. This is especially true during the growth period. So, you do need to maintain a delicate balance as you water your succulent.
Signs of under-watering – generally occurring if you do it less than once a week – include solid brown spots appearing on the leaves. This is likely to only occur however if you leave your plant for extended, very long periods without irrigation.
Whilst the Agave Franzosinii tolerates a wide range of temperature, including cooler ones, it doesn’t do well with freezing. If exposed to more than a few hours of frost or near freezing temperatures, it is likely it will begin to show some signs of damage.
This can include pretty bad looking black areas which is basically frost damaged tissue. These areas unfortunately will not recover, and will need removed to keep your plant looking its best. Best to keep the plant indoors!
Many new owners to cacti and other succulents such as the Agave Franzosinii make a common error. Just because this plant has its origins in the deserts of Mexico doesn’t mean yours can take extreme sun.
Whilst you will want to bring this heat loving plant outside in the summer to bask in the rays, you need to be careful with a young, indoor bred houseplant.
They won’t be acclimatised to strong sun, and can quickly become sunburned. Sunburn appears as brown or yellow patches on the leaves, and unfortunately won’t be recoverable.
If you do take it outside in the summer, give it morning and evening sunlight and bring it back inside or shade it at noon. The good news is that any new growth will be largely unaffected by sun damage to other parts of the plant.
Frequently asked questions about the Agave Franzosinii
Can I go on holiday without watering by Agave Franzosinii?
You could probably go on holiday for around 2 weeks without watering this succulent. Generally, it likes a light watering once a week. But it is able to store water in the root system. So you can get away with short stints away without asking the neighbours to go round!
My Agave Franzosinii has wilted and died! What happened?
Check your soil. If it is too moist, or you are not providing a well-draining environment, root rot will likely set in. This can be devastating to the plant, and cause not only unsightly wilting but also fungal infections. Keep your watering regimen consistent but light, and leave the soil to dry out fully before watering again.
How do I propagate my Agave Franzosinii?
The more mature plant will produce offshoots – known as pups. Once they get to around 8 centimeters long, you can gently remove them. Propagation of these parts is easy – simply use the same sort of soil as your main plant, and follow the watering guidelines above.
This is a gorgeous plant that will add a beautiful blue green hue to your collection or window sill (the variegated version as in the featured pic is nice as well, though!). Looked after properly, the Agave Franzosinii can give you 25-30 years of company!
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.