Thread Agave (Agave filifera) Care Indoors, Propagation, Problems and Solutions

Houseplant, Thread Agave, Agave filifera

Botanical name: Agave filifera
Synonyms: Agave filamentosa, Agave pseudofilifera, Bonapartea filamentosa
Family: Asparagaceae
Common names: Thread Agave, Thread-leaf Agave


Agave filifera commonly called Thread Agave or Thread-leaf Agave is an evergreen perennial plant and is one of the popular Agave plants grown indoors for its compact size.

Thread Agave forms a beautiful, stemless rosette of long, blade-like, dark-green to a bronzish-green colored leaves.

The leaves bear fine thread-like filaments which gives the plant its common name, 'Thread Agave'.

Thread-leaf Agave grows slowly and may take a long time to out grow its pot and therefore it does not require frequent repotting. Avoid disturbing it as much as possible as it does not like to be disturbed.


Thread Agave grows to a height of upto 2 ft and up to 3 ft wide. The leaves are about 1 ft long.


The flower stalk in Thread Agave is about 11.5 feet tall and is densely loaded with yellowish-green to dark purple flowers which are about 2 in. long.


Agave filifera is native to Central Mexico from Queretaro to Mexico State.


Thread Agave Plant (Agave filifera) produces a sap that can cause skin dermatitis in sensitive people.

The leaves of Thread-leaf Agave bear sharp spines which may cause injury if handled with bare hands. Always wear gloves when handling the plant.

Where to Buy

If you would like to add this magnificent plant to your collection buy Thread Agave online from Etsy.

Houseplant, Thread Agave, Agave filifera

Agave filifera Care Indoors

Thread Agave (Agave filifera) requires bright light with direct sunlight and moderately moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.

Agave filifera has no need for high humidity or regular feeding but it requires frequent pruning to maintain it neat and tidy. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.


Water Thread Agave thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings and keep the soil moderately moist.

Decrease watering significantly in the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time.

Avoiding wetting the center of the rosette as it can lead to rotting and water from the bottom instead.

Use water that is at room temperature to avoid plant shock as it can cause reduced growth.

Ensure that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.

Light Requirements

Thread Agave grows best in bright light with direct sunshine. A bright sunny window with as much sun as possible is ideal.

Avoid exposing Thread-leaf Agave to direct sunlight before acclimatizing it as it can get sunscorched.

Agave filifera can also grow under a grow light where natural lighting is not sufficient.

Temperature and Humidity

Warm temperatures between 21-320C are ideal for Thread Agave. However, it can tolerate lower temperatures of up to 100C. The sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for this succulent.

Average room humidity is adequate for Thread Agave (Agave filifera). It does not require high humidity and does not mind dry air as it is well adapted to it from its natural habitat.


Feed Thread Agave (Agave filifera) monthly during the growing period with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed), only in the first 2 years of growth.

The established plants do not require regular feeding as too much feeding may encourage blooming leading to premature death.

Agaves are monocarpic plants which means they die once they bloom leaving pups for propagation.


Repot Thread Agave only when necessary and that is when the plant becomes pot-bound; when the roots begin to grow through the drainage holes.

Use a shallow rather than a deep pot as it has shallow roots. The pot should be only 1 size larger as it prefers to be root-bound.

Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from becoming soggy as it can lead to rotting.

To protect yourself from the sharp spines, always wear gloves when handling Thread-leaf Agave.


The best soil for Thread Agave should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.

Cactus and Succulents soil is perfect for Thread-leaf Agave. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil online from Etsy.


Prune Thread Agave by cutting dead or diseased leaves with sharp strong shears, a long sharp knife or a curved pruning saw to minimize tearing and injury to yourself as the leaves have spines and are quite tough to cut.


Thread Agave (Agave filifera) propagtaion can be done from seeds but they take long to develop. Propagation from offsets that form at the base of the plant is easier and much faster.

How to propagate Thread Agave from offsets

Seperate the offset from the mother and remove any damaged roots. Select an offset which has several leaves.

Allow the offsets to dry (callous) for 1-3 days before potting to prevent rotting.

Plant the offset in a moist, free-draining soil. Water sparingly, water only when the soil is dry.

Confirm that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight to avoid sunscorching.

Allow the new Thread Agave to be well established after which you can begin routine care.

Houseplant, Thread Agave, Agave filifera

Agave filifera Problems

Thread Agave (Agave filifera) problems are related to improper watering. The problems include rotting, wilting, yellowing, leaf spots, pests and diseases. Keep reading for more on these conditions and how to fix them.

Rotting base, yellowing and shriveled leaves

Rotting plant base followed by yellowing and shrivelled leaves in Thread Agave Plant is an indication of basal stem-rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.

Avoid overwatering. Water only when the top 2-3 in. of soil dry out and maintain the soil moderately moist.

Significantly cut down on watering during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.

Brown dry leaf spots

Brown dry leaf spots in Thread Agave are due to underwatering during the growing season as it requires the soil to be moderately moist through out.

Water the Agave filifera thoroughly during the growing season when the soil begins to dry out and maintain the soil moderately moist.

Lessen watering significantly during the cold period to keep the soil slightly moist but never allow it to dry out completely.

Brown soft leaf spots

Brown soft leaf spots in Thread Agave are caused by leaf spot disease which is enhanced by overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.

Improve on ventilation and ensure that there is free air circulation at all times. Read on how to treat leaf spot disease in houseplants.

Wilted and discolored leaves

Overwatering during the cold season is the cause of wilted and discolored leaves in Thread Agave. Significantly reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is reduced at this time.


The common pests in Thread Agave are Mealy Bugs and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants and treat it with Insecticidal soap to get rid of the pests.

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