Havard's Century Plant (Agave Havardiana) Growing In Garden Ground Observing Direct Sunlight

Havard’s Century Plant Care Guide

Havard’s Century Plant, also known as Agave havardiana, is a visually stunning succulent that can grow up to ten feet wide and six feet tall. It has fleshy, arching leaves in grey-green or variegated colors, tipped with sharp spines. This plant blooms after two or three decades, sending up a single stalk with small yellow blossoms. The flower display is the plant’s final act before dying. In this care guide, I will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to nurture your Havard’s Century Plant to keep it healthy and thriving.

Key Takeaways:

  • Havard’s Century Plant, also known as Agave havardiana, is a visually stunning succulent.
  • The plant can grow up to ten feet wide and six feet tall.
  • It blooms after two or three decades, producing small yellow blossoms.
  • Proper care is essential to keep your Havard’s Century Plant healthy and thriving.
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions in this guide to ensure the best care for your plant.

Appearance of Havard’s Century Plant

Havard’s Century Plant, also known as Agave havardiana, is a visually striking succulent that adds a touch of elegance to any garden or indoor space. Its broad, fleshy leaves have a gray-green hue and are deeply toothed along the margins, giving the plant a unique and textured appearance. These leaves form a beautiful rosette shape, adding to the aesthetic appeal.

The leaves of the Havard’s Century Plant are not only visually captivating but also serve a protective purpose. Tipped with sharp spines, they deter predators and help the plant thrive in its natural environment. The plant can grow to be three to six feet tall and six to ten feet wide, making it an impressive centerpiece or focal point in any landscape.

Distinctive Blooms

One of the most fascinating features of Havard’s Century Plant is its blooming process. After two or three decades of growth, the plant sends up a single, thick candelabra-like flower stalk. This impressive stalk is adorned with large clusters of bright yellow flowers, creating a stunning display that can last for weeks. The blooming of Havard’s Century Plant is its grand finale, as the plant typically dies after flowering.

Evergreen and Resilient

Despite its long lifespan and eventual demise, Havard’s Century Plant remains evergreen and resilient throughout its growth cycle. The plant’s leaves have a leathery texture that helps them withstand harsh environmental conditions, including extreme heat and drought. This resilience makes Havard’s Century Plant a low-maintenance choice for both experienced and novice gardeners.

Light Requirements for Havard’s Century Plant

To ensure that your Havard’s Century Plant thrives, it is essential to provide it with the right amount of light. This succulent is known for its love of sunlight, so it is best to place it in a location that receives full sun exposure. Ideally, the plant should receive at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day.

If you don’t have a spot that meets the requirements for full sun, don’t worry! Havard’s Century Plant can tolerate light shade, although it may not grow as vigorously as it would in full sun. Simply find a location that still receives a good amount of sunlight throughout the day.

When choosing the perfect spot for your Havard’s Century Plant, keep in mind that it needs adequate sunlight to grow and develop properly. So, whether it’s a sunny corner in your garden or a bright spot on your balcony, make sure your plant gets the light it needs to thrive.

Watering Havard’s Century Plant

Havard’s Century Plant is a drought-tolerant succulent, meaning it can withstand long periods without water. When it comes to watering your Havard’s Century Plant, it’s important to strike the right balance. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the plant to become dehydrated and stressed. Here are some tips for watering your Havard’s Century Plant:

  1. Water deeply but infrequently: Instead of giving your plant frequent shallow watering, it’s best to water it deeply. This means allowing the water to penetrate the soil and reach the roots. Water the plant until the excess water starts to drain from the bottom of the pot or the soil feels moist to the touch.
  2. Allow the soil to dry between waterings: Havard’s Century Plant is well-adapted to arid conditions and prefers to dry out between waterings. Before watering again, wait for the soil to dry out completely, as this mimics the plant’s natural habitat.
  3. Adjust watering based on the season: During the spring and summer, when the plant is actively growing, you can water it more frequently. However, in the fall and winter months, when the plant goes into a dormant phase, watering should be significantly reduced.
  4. Monitor the weather conditions: The frequency of watering will also depend on the climate and weather conditions in your area. During hot and dry periods, you may need to water more often, while cooler and more humid conditions may require less frequent watering.

Fertilizing Havard’s Century Plant

Fertilizing your Havard’s Century Plant can help provide it with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and thrive. However, it’s important to note that this succulent doesn’t require regular fertilization and can do well in nutrient-sparse soil.

If you choose to fertilize your Havard’s Century Plant, opt for a slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for succulents. This type of fertilizer releases nutrients gradually over time, ensuring that your plant receives a steady supply without the risk of over-fertilization. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for proper application.

Be cautious not to over-fertilize your Havard’s Century Plant, as excessive nutrients can actually shorten its lifecycle. This unique succulent blooms after a long period of growth, signaling the end of its life cycle. Over-fertilization can cause the plant to bloom prematurely, cutting short its lifespan.

Potting Havard’s Century Plant

If you prefer to grow your Havard’s Century Plant in a pot, it’s important to choose a container that allows for its continued growth. Remember that these plants can get large, so starting with a large pot is ideal. When potting your century plant, use well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging and root rot.

You can create a suitable potting mix by combining compost, potting soil, and either gravel or sand. Alternatively, you can use a pre-mixed succulent potting soil, readily available at garden centers. The well-draining soil helps to mimic the plant’s natural habitat and prevents excess moisture from causing issues.

As your Havard’s Century Plant grows, it may require repotting every other year or as needed. When repotting, choose a larger pot that can accommodate the plant’s increasing size. Be sure to use fresh soil during the repotting process to provide the necessary nutrients for continued growth.

Potting Havard’s Century Plant: Quick Tips

  • Choose a large pot that allows for future growth
  • Use well-draining soil, such as a mix of compost, potting soil, and gravel/sand
  • Consider using a pre-mixed succulent potting soil
  • Repot every other year or as needed using fresh soil

Propagation of Havard’s Century Plant

Propagating Havard’s Century Plant is a rewarding and relatively straightforward process. The most common method of propagation is through offsets, also known as pups, which are small plants that grow from the base of the parent plant. To propagate, carefully separate the pup from the parent plant using a trowel, making sure to leave a portion of the stem and root bundle intact.

Once separated, plant the pup in well-draining soil, either in the ground or in a container. Ensure that the soil is moist but not overly wet, as succulents are prone to root rot in soggy conditions. The new pup will gradually establish its own root system and begin to grow independently.

If you prefer to propagate using seeds, collect the seeds from mature flowers once they have dried and turned brown. Sow the seeds in a well-draining soil mix and lightly cover them. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged until the seeds germinate, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. As the seedlings grow, gradually decrease the frequency of watering to promote stronger root development.

Propagation Tips:

  • Choose healthy and mature pups or seeds for propagation to ensure higher success rates.
  • Provide a warm and bright environment for the newly propagated plant to encourage growth.
  • Be patient with the propagation process, as Havard’s Century Plant is a slow-growing succulent.
  • Monitor the moisture levels of the soil regularly to prevent overwatering or underwatering.
  • Consider propagating multiple pups or seeds at once to increase the chances of success.

Growth and Development of Havard’s Century Plant

Havard’s Century Plant is a slow-growing succulent that requires patience to reach its full potential. It takes several decades for this plant to mature, but the wait is worth it. As it grows, Havard’s Century Plant forms a large rosette of fleshy, gray-green leaves with toothed margins, creating a striking and architectural presence in your garden or indoor space.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Havard’s Century Plant is its flowering process. After 20 to 30 years, the plant will send up a single branched stalk, adorned with clusters of bright yellow flowers. This beautiful display is the plant’s final act before it dies. However, during its lifespan, Havard’s Century Plant may produce plenty of offshoots, or pups, which can be left to grow alongside the parent plant or transplanted to new locations, ensuring the legacy of this stunning succulent continues.

Key Points:

  1. Havard’s Century Plant is a slow-growing succulent that takes several decades to reach maturity.
  2. After 20 to 30 years, the plant produces a single branched stalk with clusters of bright yellow flowers.
  3. The flowering process is the plant’s final act before it dies.
  4. The plant may produce offshoots, or pups, that can be left to grow or transplanted to new locations.

Pests and Diseases of Havard’s Century Plant

Havard’s Century Plant is known for its resilience and resistance to most pests and diseases. However, there are a few issues that can affect the health of this majestic succulent. Here are the common pests and diseases to watch out for when caring for your Havard’s Century Plant:


  • Agave Snout Weevil: These weevils can cause serious damage to the plant by feasting on its leaves and roots. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of weevil infestation, such as chewed or wilted leaves. Use neem oil or insecticides to protect against these pests.
  • Spider Mites: These tiny pests can create webs on the leaves and suck the sap out of your plant, leading to stunted growth and discoloration. To control spider mites, rinse the plant with water or use an insecticidal soap.
  • Scale Insects: These pests appear as small, waxy bumps on the leaves and stems of the plant. They suck the sap from the plant and can cause yellowing or wilting. Remove scales individually with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or use an insecticidal soap.


  • Root Rot: Overly moist soil conditions can lead to root rot, which is characterized by squishy, discolored, or wilting leaves. To prevent root rot, ensure your plant is in well-draining soil and avoid overwatering. If root rot occurs, trim away the affected roots and apply a copper fungicide to prevent further spread.
  • Fungal Leaf Spot: This disease appears as brown or black spots on the leaves. It is caused by fungal pathogens and thrives in moist conditions. To prevent fungal leaf spot, avoid overhead watering and ensure good air circulation around the plant.

Overwintering Havard’s Century Plant

Overwintering Havard’s Century Plant is crucial for its survival, especially in colder climates. This succulent is not frost-tolerant, so it’s important to take appropriate measures to protect it during the winter months. Here are some tips on how to overwinter your Havard’s Century Plant:

  1. Bring it indoors: If you live in an area with harsh winters, it’s best to bring your Havard’s Century Plant indoors. Find a sunny spot near a window where it can receive adequate sunlight. Make sure to acclimate the plant to the indoor conditions gradually to avoid shock.
  2. Provide protection: If you live in a milder climate, you can provide some protection to the plant outdoors. Plant it in a sheltered location or next to a large rock that can radiate heat during the colder nights. Covering the plant with a cotton sheet can also offer additional insulation.
  3. Monitor temperature: Keep an eye on the temperature and weather conditions throughout the winter. If there’s a sudden drop in temperature or a frost warning, it’s best to bring the plant indoors or provide extra protection.
  4. Reduce watering: During the winter months, the growth of Havard’s Century Plant slows down, so it requires less water. Reduce watering frequency and only water when the soil is completely dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can be detrimental to the plant’s health.

Varieties of Havard’s Century Plant

Havard’s Century Plant, also known as Agave havardiana, is a remarkable succulent that offers a few stunning varieties for plant enthusiasts. These varieties add visual interest and uniqueness to your collection.

One notable variety is ‘Marginata.’ It features striking cream-to-yellow margins along the leaves, creating a beautiful contrast against the gray-green foliage. ‘Marginata’ is a captivating choice for those who appreciate a touch of color in their plants.

Another remarkable variety is ‘Mediopicta alba.’ This variety showcases gray-green leaf margins with a central stripe of creamy-white, creating an elegant and sophisticated look. ‘Mediopicta alba’ is sure to make a statement in any garden or indoor plant arrangement.

If you’re looking for a variety with even more vibrant colors, consider ‘Mediopicta aurea.’ This stunning option offers variegated leaves with a bright yellow central stripe, adding a pop of color and vibrancy to your plant collection.


What is the average height and width of a Havard’s Century Plant?

Havard’s Century Plant can grow up to six feet tall and ten feet wide.

How often does Havard’s Century Plant bloom?

Havard’s Century Plant typically blooms after two to three decades.

What does the blooming process of Havard’s Century Plant signify?

The blooming process is the plant’s final act before it dies.

How much sunlight does Havard’s Century Plant require?

Havard’s Century Plant needs at least six to eight hours of full sun exposure each day.

Can Havard’s Century Plant tolerate light shade?

Yes, it can tolerate light shade if the site doesn’t meet the requirements for full sun.

How often should I water Havard’s Century Plant?

Water deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry thoroughly between watering sessions, which can vary from a week to a month depending on climate conditions.

Does Havard’s Century Plant require regular fertilization?

No, it can do fine in nutrient-sparse soil. However, if you choose to fertilize, use a slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for succulents.

Can Havard’s Century Plant be grown in pots?

Yes, it can be grown in pots, but make sure to choose a large pot that allows for continued growth. Use well-draining soil and repot every other year or as needed.

How can I propagate Havard’s Century Plant?

Havard’s Century Plant is most easily propagated from offsets, also known as pups. Separate a pup from the parent plant and plant it in well-draining soil.

How long does it take for Havard’s Century Plant to reach maturity?

Havard’s Century Plant takes several decades to reach maturity.

What pests and diseases are Havard’s Century Plant susceptible to?

Havard’s Century Plant is relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but it can be susceptible to agave snout weevils and root rot.

How should I protect Havard’s Century Plant during winter months?

If you live in a colder climate, bring the plant indoors. In milder winters, provide some protection by planting it in a sheltered location or covering it with a cotton sheet.

Are there any notable varieties of Havard’s Century Plant?

Yes, notable varieties include ‘Marginata,’ ‘Mediopicta alba,’ and ‘Mediopicta aurea,’ which offer visual interest with unique leaf patterns.

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