Last updated on August 25th, 2023 at 03:20 am
Agave victoriae reginae, also known as the Queen Victoria agave plant or queen victoria cactus, produces long blue-green leaves and pointed bright yellow tips, creating an overall shape that looks similar to that of a pineapple.
The plant is native to the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora in northern Mexico but thrives in gardens throughout North America with minimal care and attention in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9a through 11b and higher elevations in zone 8b.
Agave victoriae reginae plant is one of the most popular houseplants you can find in the marketplace today. This stunning, succulent agave has large rosettes of stiff dark green leaves, with pointed tips and very fine serrated edges.
The low-maintenance nature of this plant makes it one of the top choices for anyone looking to beautify their home while spending little time on upkeep.
Origin and distribution
Agave victoriae reginae is native to Mexico, where they grow naturally in dry forests and oak savannahs. They were also introduced to South Africa, where they are widely cultivated for their dramatic rosettes and ornamental leaves.
This species is widely propagated as an ornamental garden plant around the world, including in California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico in North America; Washington state in western North America; coastal Queensland in Australia; parts of southern Africa; and India.
Queen Victoria agaves may be found growing outdoors year-round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, depending on climate conditions and variety. In colder climates, these plants may be grown indoors or in a greenhouse during the winter months.
Agave victoriae reginae do not tolerate temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Gardeners in cooler regions who wish to grow queen Victoria agaves outside should keep them in pots and move them inside when cold weather threatens.
Agave victoriae reginae propagation
Agave victoriae reginae is very easy to propagate and is a perfect choice for beginners. The process of propagating agaves from cuttings is quite simple but can take up to two years before you will be able to enjoy your new plant. Here’s how it works.
You will need an already established and healthy queen agave plant, as well as at least three sets of baby, leaves with no set flower buds. Using a sharp knife or pruning shears, remove one of these leaf sets from your parent plant and allow them to dry for about one week in a warm location.
After drying, place them in moist potting soil that has been enriched with compost or fertilizer. Keep these in partial shade until they begin to root (usually within 6 weeks).
Once they have rooted, move them into full sun and continue watering regularly until they are ready to be transplanted into their own pots. If done correctly, you should have a brand-new queen agave plant in just over 2 years!
Agave victoriae reginae care information
The Queen Victoria agave plant is quite easy to care for. When it comes to light requirements, it prefers bright indirect light and can handle full sun when acclimated, although direct sunlight should be avoided when possible.
This cactus also does well in both hot and cold temperatures as long as they don’t fluctuate too greatly. Keep your Queen Victoria agave in a spot that doesn’t experience drastic temperature shifts.
You’ll need a sunny spot for your queen agave plant. They’re desert-dwelling succulents, after all. But don’t worry, Agave victoriae reginae tolerate shade fairly well. Once they’ve established their roots, they can survive with anywhere from four to eight hours of sunlight per day. Plus, because they like dry air, you can usually place them in any area of your home that doesn’t get moisture on a regular basis.
Use a cactus potting mix or prepare your own by mixing together one part coarse sand, one part compost, and three parts potting soil. For a container less than 12 inches in diameter, place one handful of coarse sand into it before adding your potting mix to create a drainage layer.
This step is only necessary if you plan on watering with water instead of letting it rain down naturally. If you’re using a container larger than 12 inches in diameter, skip placing any sand at the bottom of your container.
It’s rare that an Agave victoriae reginae plant gets root rot, but to help prevent it, make sure you water them deeply. Even if it doesn’t rain for a while, give your agaves a good drink every once in a while. And don’t wait until they shrivel up and look like they are dying, watering too much is better than not watering enough.
If you live in a dry climate, try grouping your plants together so they can share each other’s moisture. Or add mulch around their base to retain moisture.
Agave victoriae reginae plant requires minimal fertilizer. Add 3/4 cup of well-balanced fertilizer to each new planting hole, or use a slow-release granular fertilizer. Fertilize only once in spring and fall; do not fertilize over winter. Apply fertilizer at a rate that is 1/2 teaspoon per square foot for mature plants.
Use 1 teaspoon per square foot for young plants. Apply fertilizer evenly around the base of the plant, avoiding contact with fleshy leaves and flowers. If you’re using chemical fertilizers, follow all manufacturer instructions carefully.
In order to maintain a queen agave plant’s unique structure, keep it between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher or lower temperature can cause it to wilt or even die. For most of us, placing a queen agave plant in an indoor environment is the easiest.
If you live in a warm climate, try placing your queen agave outdoors during warmer months and keeping it indoors during cooler months. Indoors, place your queen agave in a spot that receives plenty of sunlight throughout the day.
Depending on your location, the summer months tend to be dry, which can affect how often you water your agave plant. If you live in a climate with low humidity, you may only need to water your Agave victoriae reginae two times a month during these hot months. During rainy seasons or winter months, when temperatures drop and humidity rises, you may need to increase watering time for your agave.
The ideal humidity range is between 40 and 60 percent. If your agave’s leaves start to droop, it could be a sign that you need to increase its water intake. Similarly, if your agave’s leaves are turning yellow or brown, it could be a sign of over-watering.
One of several factors that’ll determine how big your Agave victoriae reginae gets is how you prune it. Queen Victoria agaves grow slowly and can take up to a decade or longer to bloom, so if you live in an area with cold winters you may need to take cuttings from your plant every year.
The best time to do so is in late summer when growth has slowed down. This way, you won’t have to wait as long for new plants to form roots.
In areas where winter temperatures stay above freezing, however, leave your queen alone until she blooms, this will be easier on her overall health than trying to keep her alive through multiple freezes and thaws.
When to repot
When you repot your queen victoria agave, it’s best to do so in late spring or early summer, while temperatures are still above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant should be potted in a medium that drains well, like a cactus potting mix.
Pot your agave queen in its new container so that its top half is exposed and there is ample room between it and other plants for air circulation. Place your agave in bright but indirect sunlight for approximately one hour per day.
Water when the soil feels dry two inches below the surface of the soil. Fertilize every two weeks with an all-purpose fertilizer diluted by half at normal strength, applied to the soil around the base of the plant.
In temperate climates, Agave victoriae reginae typically spend their winters in dormancy. How can you tell if your agave is going dormant? There are a few simple ways to tell.
First, check for dead leaves on top of your plant, if you see brown or yellow leaves here, it’s time to cut them away. Also, check under larger leaf bases; if they’re turning dark and brittle, it’s time to remove them as well.
Finally, feel around your agave. If it feels soft and squishy instead of firm, that means it’s starting to go into winter rest. Once you’ve done all these things, make sure to water deeply but infrequently until spring arrives.
Agave victoriae reginae flower & fragrance
Agave victoriae reginae bloom when they reach about six feet in height. The flowers, shaped like a bell or a funnel, can be as large as three feet across.
They are orange or yellow and emit a pleasant fragrance that can be detected from up to 50 feet away. Each agave produces both pollen and nectar; if left to its own devices, it will produce both male and female flowers.
When young, they grow relatively slowly and steadily, around 1 inch of growth every week to 10 days is normal. This means that if you plant a queen in a 12-inch container, it could take up to a year before it’s ready for its first repotting; if you buy one in a 4-inch pot, it will likely be ready for repotting within six months.
Agave victoriae reginae are toxic. They contain saponins, which can cause gastrointestinal problems and gastrointestinal irritation in animals. Symptoms of exposure include drooling, vomiting, trembling, and difficulty breathing. If you have small children or pets in your home, you should use extra caution to keep them away from your agave plants.
USDA hardiness zones
Agave victoriae reginae thrives in USDA hardiness zones 8-11. In colder climates, it is recommended to grow agave victoriae reginae as a houseplant or potted plant and bring it outside during the summer months. It can also be grown outdoors year-round in warmer climates.
Pests and diseases
Agave victoriae reginae are generally very resilient to pests and diseases. Insects, such as aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects can cause problems for other agaves. But queen victoria agaves tend to be resistant to these pests.
Also, the fungal disease is not typically a problem with Agave victoriae reginae like it can be with other agaves. The most common problems that do occur with queen victoriaes are usually related to either over or under watering as well as improper location and/or lighting conditions.