The New Mexico Century Plant, otherwise known as the Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana or Artichoke Agave, Parry’s Century Plant, is a somewhat well known cactus/succulent plant native to the the Southwest of the United States.
Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this cactus/succulent will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its silver-green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.
Fortunately, taking care of your New Mexico Century Plant is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this New Mexico Century Plant Care Guide. Now let’s get started.
The fundamental caring guidelines for every New Mexico Century Plant can be summed up into the following:
- Water: The New Mexico Century Plant grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.
- Light: Keep your Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis.
- Soil: Make sure to keep the New Mexico Century Plant in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand.
And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your New Mexico Century Plant will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.
Scientific / Botanical Aspects
In botanical terms, the New Mexico Century Plant belongs to the Asparagaceae family, the genus Agave and the species Parryi, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana (a-GAH-vee PAIR-ee-eye nee-oh-meks-ih-KAY-nuh).
As with other Agave’s, the New Mexico Century Plant is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.
The New Mexico Century Plant is a plant native to the US and Mexico. This is why the Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana is used to growing in specific regions such as the states in the Southwest of the United States.
You might be wondering why your New Mexico Century Plant’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.
With this in mind, the Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana will be most used to the heat zones in the 5 – 11 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a and the ideal climate zone is between 2B, 3A, 3B, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
Growth and Size
In terms of size and growth, the New Mexico Century Plant is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.
But, what size of New Mexico Century Plant are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…
The Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana can grow up to 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) and 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm) in 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm).
These dimensions make the New Mexico Century Plant a relatively medium cactus/succulent compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.
This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 36″ (90cm) free so the New Mexico Century Plant can spread to its best extent.
In terms of watering, the New Mexico Century Plant is a fairly simple plant to take care of.
This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.
Specifically, most experts agree that the Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.
Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low needs in terms of water.
As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your New Mexico Century Plant in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive.
When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times.
But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your New Mexico Century Plant then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your New Mexico Century Plant needs or does not need water, every time.
As mentioned earlier, the New Mexico Century Plant prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand.
This is why most experts agree that the New Mexico Century Plant requires soil with sand, and shallow rocky, which will give you the right conditions it needs.
In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably acid soil.
Light and Exposure
In terms of light & exposure, the New Mexico Century Plant requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions.
Most experts agree that this cactus/succulent will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.
Specifically, we recommend that you place your Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).
Being an evergreen plant, the New Mexico Century Plant will be present year round in your garden.
But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.
In particular, this cactus/succulent is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.
The New Mexico Century Plant produces some beautiful yellow, or gold/yellow and green flowers around this time of year.
The leaves from the New Mexico Century Plant have a beautiful silver-green color during most of the year.
In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a rosulate and whorled organization in its leaves.
You can expect the leaves from your Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana to be around (> 6 inches) in size.
Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance
The New Mexico Century Plant is well known for being able to attract hummingbirds and birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.
Additionally, it has a special tolerance for rocky soil, dry soil, drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana will be fine.
Does your New Mexico Century Plant have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.
Most Agave Parryi Var. Neomexicana owners agree that this cactus/succulent will look great in most contemporary and rustic gardens of all types.
Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of city and courtyard, and in mediterranean garden styles.
In particular, the New Mexico Century Plant’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in patio and containers, others use it for landscaping in a firescaping/fire wise, container, or a rock garden.
New Mexico Century Plant’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Festuca glauca, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.
Others consider that a nice Agastache will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!
And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your New Mexico Century Plant to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!