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My girlfriend has an agave plant (Agave Americana Variegata we think) she got from a friend a few years ago and we have recently noticed waxy looking spots on a few of the lower leaves, as shown in the image below.

agave with waxy spots

While it looks like someone dripped candle wax on the leaves, the spots are pretty firm and don't feel waxy or sticky, and don't peel loose easily (you can see a spot roughly mid-image where I tried)

I am hoping someone can tell us what this is, whether it is a problem, and what to do about it if it is a problem.

For some background, the plant is inside in the bathroom on a windowsill with a glass block wall and gets sun most of the day. It has been quite happy there for at least a year, and honestly, it still seems to be doing well judging by the new growth (not pictured).

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I believe this is a fungal/viral/bacterial infection. Some of the diagnostic tests would be:

  • only shows up on the older leaves
  • starts as a small area and grows larger as the agent grows in stages
  • sometimes associated with overwatering or low light or sitting in water

Most healthy plants can outgrow this problem but there are things you can do:

  • water less: agaves can tolerate high light and dry conditions
  • check the soil: take it out of the pot and look for wet soil or soft dying roots

If the plant has been overwatered you could consider repotting in a free draining soil, cactus soil or similar or tropical plant mix with added perlite. You can reuse the existing pot and just put some new soil in the bottom of the pot.

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  • Hi. Thanks for the input. The "wax" is only on one older leaf, so that tracks. I haven't noticed any growth. The spots were in full bloom when we noticed them, so that is a maybe. I don't think it is water as we are very careful with that. We'll keep an eye on it with these things in mind though.
    – s_ha_dum
    Commented May 24 at 8:28

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