What’s a Mangave? A Trendy and Visually Stunning Plant

manfreda cross with agave
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What’s a Mangave? A Trendy and Visually Stunning Plant

Make Room for Mangave

Pronounced man-GAH-vay, mangave is a fascinating addition to any gardener's collection, whether growing in the garden, patio container, or as a houseplant. Originating as a hybrid between the agave and manfreda plants, mangave plants boast a faster growth rate and a variety of colorful and intricately patterned leaves, thanks to their manfreda parentage. They retain the architectural beauty of agave but are less prickly, making them easier to care for and more appealing for gardeners.

Unique Features of Mangave

Hybrid Vigor

Hybrids are often bred to maintain the best qualities of each plant or variety. That is certainly the case with mangave. The combination of agave and manfreda gives mangave plants a unique set of qualities, including spiky leaves in various colors and intricate patterns. This uncommon combination makes them stand out in any garden or indoor setting.


Mangaves can thrive in both extreme heat and cold temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Their ability to store water within their leaves allows them to survive prolonged droughts, highlighting their resilience and low-maintenance nature.

Growth and Care

They are not heavy feeders and can thrive in nutrient-poor soil. A well-draining cactus soil is ideal for them, whether planted in containers or the ground.

Indoor and Outdoor Growth

For time-crunched gardeners, mangaves are a perfect choice due to their low maintenance requirements. They prefer well-draining soil and moderate watering, without the risk of overwatering which can cause root rot. These plants thrive in full sun or partial shade, making them versatile for different lighting conditions. When grown indoors, placing them near a window where they receive direct or indirect sunlight for at least six hours daily is ideal. Fertilizing every three months can promote robust growth, although it's not necessary for their survival.

Mangave Collection

Each of these mangave varieties brings a unique aesthetic to gardens and indoor spaces. Their resilience, combined with their exotic appearance, makes them a coveted choice for new or experienced gardeners looking for something special. The varieties available at Wayside Gardens will change but, we always endeavor to share access to a diverse selection of these captivating plants.

PLEASE NOTE: Each of these varieties has a limited quantity. Due to their populatiry, we expect them to sell out for spring shipping. 

Mangave 'Bad Hair Day'Mangave 'Bad Hair Day'

Mangave 'Bad Hair Day'

Featuring a rosette of soft, flexible, gracefully arching foliage, it’s the hardiest mangave to date. The lime green leaves have light blush-red spotting, intensifying towards the tip. In Zones 7 to 11, it's ideal for rock, alpine, and waterwise gardens, or xeriscapes. In colder Zones Mangave 'Bad Hair Day' is an excellent container plant. It requires sunny locations and well-drained soil, tolerates drought, and is deer and rabbit resistant. In regions with cold winters, Mangave 'Bad Hair Day' will need to be moved inside and should be held at temps above 60°F.


Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

Mangave 'Frosted Elegance'Mangave 'Frosted Elegance'

Mangave 'Frosted Elegance'

Known for its layers of gracefully arching foliage with a waxy texture, this variety has slightly serated leaves in a bluish-green to silvery-blue color with a softer green central band. It's suitable for rock, alpine, and xeriscapes gardens in Zones 9 to 11, as well as container and houseplant collections. Mangave 'Frosted Elegance' also prefers sunny locations well-drained soil and moderate moisture, and it's deer and rabbit resistant.

Mangave 'Mission to Mars'Mangave 'Mission to Mars'

Mangave 'Mission to Mars'

Nicknamed the Red Planet, it’s a succulent tender perennial that has long, fleshy, horizontal to slightly arching foliage with an outer space look. The green leaves have upward curling margins with burgundy red spotting that gives them a red appearance that intensifies in UV light. Sharing similar growing conditions and resistance to ‘Bad Hair Day’ and ‘Frosted Elegance’, 'Mission to Mars' is compact and hardy in Zones 9-11.

Mangave 'Aztec King' Mangave 'Aztec King'

Mangave 'Aztec King'

Features a very large rosette of cascading, broad, silvery green foliage mottled with burgundy flecks. The foliage becomes arching with maturity and the initially flexible dentated teeth become firm and sharp. Mangave 'Aztec King' thrives in sunny locations with well-drained soil and is suitable for various garden styles and container planting.

Mangave 'Blazing Saddles'Mangave 'Blazing Saddles'

Mangave 'Blazing Saddles'

This variety has an attractive rosette of short, green, heavily spotted and mottled leaves with a clear red color that intensifies under UV light. It grows compactly with linear to lanceolate leaves.  Mangave 'Blazing Saddles' ideal for rock, alpine, and xeriscape gardens in Zones 9 to 11, or as a container plant. It requires similar care as other varieties, thriving in sunny locations in well-drained soil.

Mangave 'Navajo Princess'Mangave 'Navajo Princess'

Mangave 'Navajo Princess'

Has broad, rigid, semi-fleshy foliage with cream margins and deep blue-green centers. Its leaves show greyed-purple spots at the base that intensify in UV light. The low maintenanace succulent is hardy in Zones 9 to 11 and makes an excellent houseplant. Mangave 'Navajo Princess' prefers sunny locations, well-drained soil, and is suitable for similar garden types as the other varieties.


Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

Mangave 'Pineapple Express'Mangave 'Pineapple Express'

Mangave 'Pineapple Express'

This variety is known for its spiky rosette of long, stiff, slender foliage that resembles a pineapple top. The dark green leaves have heavy burgundy speckling and cinnamon spines, with a waxy coating giving them a minty-green finish. In Zones 8-10, Mangave 'Pineapple Express' requires similar growing conditions as the other varieties, great as a houseplant it reaches 10-inches high by 18-inches wide and is also deer and rabbit resistant.

Mangave Mad About Mangave® 'Lavender Lady' Mangave Mad About Mangave® 'Lavender Lady'

Mangave Mad About Mangave® 'Lavender Lady' 

This variety resembles echeveria with its solitary basal rosette of short, broad, nearly flat fleshy foliage. New leaves are smoky purple and develop subtle, sporadic burgundy purple spots as well as soft, flexible tiny white spines along the margins. As the leaves age, they lighten to green, giving the plant a two-tone effect. An excellent container plant, Mangave® 'Lavender Lady' is hardy in Zones 8-10.

Each of these varieties brings its own unique aesthetic and characteristics, making them a fascinating choice for both garden and container cultivation.