In times past, both were used along the property border to deter trespassers. Their sharp points can stab, the spines on the foliage edges can tear and their thick, wide clustering growth can make the plants armor hard to avoid.

They can be dangerous to work around, too, so larger ones work best as a single specimen. Instead, combine with landscape boulders if the bed needs a finishing touch. Smaller varieties however, can work well with other drought tolerant plants, creating a very low maintenance landscape. They're all salt tolerant and do well in beach side plantings.

Plant It is best to allow this plant to grow naturally but this requires a great deal of space as mature specimens are quite large. Space plants at least 5 feet from each other and any nearby walking paths to prevent them crowding each other and possibly injuring strollers.

If you plant Agave tequilana too close to a walkway you will need to prune it once its pointy leaves begin to extend into the path. Cut the lower leaves off close to the plant's base using a large, sharp knife.

The leaves are filled with a gel which looks like Aloe vera gel. They have the same ability to heal themselves after being cut. Full sun is ideal, though some will also grow in partial shade. A well-drained planting location is a must. Flowering usually takes place during spring or summer.

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