Ask Burton: This week, we’re looking to a question from a customer out of town, with a chillier problem than we normally deal with. Q: I’m in Wichita Falls and I want to plant agave because it’s really dry up here, but the last ones I tried melted in the cold. Do you have agave that will deal with our cold weather?

A: Cold hardiness of agave is an occasional problem down here in DFW, and more so as cold as it can get next to the Red River. We plant some types here you shouldn’t use, but here’s a list of some of our best varieties for you:

• Artichoke Agave: An agave with a rounder leaf, this plant will get 3’T x 3’W, and is cold hardy to 10 degrees.
• Havardiana Agave: One of the cold hardiest types period, 4’T x 4’W, hardy to -20 degrees!
• Neomexicana Agave: A more compact agave, grows 1 ½ ‘T x 1 ½ ‘W, another one good to -20 degrees!
• Whale’s Tongue Agave: A larger plant, gets 4’T x 4-5’W, good down to 0 degrees.
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Heavy ice can damage any agave, but these are the best at surviving serious cold. If you do get leaves burned by ice, don’t give up on an agave until much later into the spring; usually, they’ll put out pups all around the base from the root system, and regrow just fine.

Burton specializes in diagnosing and solving plant problems. If you have a question for Burton, please email him at and include photos showing the problem.