How to Care for “Kissho Kan” Agave: Plant Guide

Agave ‘Kissho Kan’, also known as Butterfly Agave or Agave ‘Kichiokan’, is a stunning evergreen plant that belongs to the Agave family. It is admired for its showy and symmetrical rosette of broad, blue-green leaves with creamy-white margins and dark, sharp terminal spines. This slow-growing, compact succulent is perfect for adding a touch of architectural interest to your garden or container. In this article, we will guide you through the caring considerations, growth characteristics, and companion plants for Agave ‘Kissho Kan’, as well as answer some frequently asked questions about this beautiful plant.

Main Caring Considerations


As a drought-tolerant succulent, Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ requires minimal watering. It is essential to let the soil dry out between waterings to prevent root rot. During the growing season, you can water the plant every 2-3 weeks, while in the winter months, watering should be reduced to once a month or even less.

Light Care

Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ thrives in full sun to partial sun exposure. It is essential to provide at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and coloration. However, in extremely hot climates, some afternoon shade may be beneficial to prevent sunburn.

Soil Care

This plant prefers well-draining soil with a slightly acidic, neutral, or alkaline pH. A mix of loam and sand is ideal for ensuring proper drainage and supporting healthy root development. It is also tolerant of rocky and dry soils, making it a perfect choice for gravel and rock gardens.

Growing Region

Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ is suitable for USDA hardiness zones 9 to 12. It can tolerate mild frosts, but it is best to protect the plant from temperatures below 20°F (-6°C) to prevent damage.

Growth Rate, Height, Size, and Spread

Butterfly Agave is a slow-growing plant, reaching a height and spread of 1-2 feet (30-60 cm) and a maximum size of 36 inches (90 cm) in diameter. Its compact size makes it an excellent option for small gardens or container planting.

Season and Temperature


Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ is a hardy plant that can tolerate a range of temperatures, from hot and dry to cooler climates. However, it is not frost-tolerant and should be protected from freezing temperatures.


Minimal pruning is required for Agave ‘Kissho Kan’. You may remove any dead or damaged leaves to maintain its appearance and promote healthy growth. Be sure to use gloves and protective clothing when handling the plant, as its spines can be sharp.


Butterfly Agave is a monocarpic plant, meaning it will flower once in its lifetime before dying. The plant produces a tall, branched flower stalk with yellow or orange flowers that attract birds and hummingbirds. After flowering, the plant will produce offsets or “pups” that can be separated and replanted, ensuring its continued presence in your garden.


Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ is generally pest-resistant, but it may be susceptible to common succulent pests like mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites. Inspect your plant regularly and treat any infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.


This plant is deer-resistant and attracts birds and hummingbirds, making it a fantastic addition to a wildlife-friendly garden. It is also tolerant of drought, dry soil, and rocky soil conditions.

Garden Styles

Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ is versatile and suitable for various garden styles, including city and courtyard, gravel and rock garden, Mediterranean garden, beds and borders, and patio and containers.

Companion Plants

Butterfly Agave pairs well with other drought-tolerant plants like Euphorbia, Sedum, Aloe, and Yucca. It also complements ornamental grasses and flowering perennials like Lavender, Salvia, and Russian Sage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ poisonous?

While not considered highly toxic, Butterfly Agave’s sap may cause skin irritation, and its spines can be sharp. It is best to handle the plant with care and keep it out of reach of children and pets.

How long does Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ live?

Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ can live for several years, typically flowering once in its lifetime before dying. However, the plant will produce offsets that can be replanted, ensuring its continued presence in your garden.

Can I grow Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ indoors?

Yes, you can grow Butterfly Agave indoors, provided it receives ample sunlight and proper care. Make sure to place it near a sunny window and follow the watering and soil recommendations mentioned above.


Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ is a remarkable plant that adds architectural interest and beauty to various garden styles. With its low-maintenance requirements and tolerance for challenging conditions, this stunning succulent is an excellent addition to any gardener’s collection. By following the caring considerations and tips outlined in this article, you can enjoy the unique charm of Butterfly Agave in your own garden or container.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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