Agave isthmensis is a compact and small-sized agave, typically reaching a height of about 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 centimeters) with a similar spread. It forms a rosette of thick, fleshy leaves that grow in a tightly packed arrangement. The leaves are typically green, but they can also have variegated patterns of creamy-white or yellow stripes along their margins.
The leaves of Agave isthmensis are relatively soft and pliable compared to some other agave species. They are lance-shaped and have smooth edges, although they may develop small spines near the leaf tips. The overall leaf structure gives the plant an attractive and symmetrical appearance.
In terms of cultivation, Agave isthmensis is popular as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscaping due to its compact size and attractive foliage. It prefers well-drained soil and thrives in full sun to partial shade. It is also known to be relatively cold-tolerant compared to many other agave species, capable of withstanding temperatures down to approximately 20°F (-6°C) when established.
Like other agaves, Agave isthmensis is monocarpic, meaning it flowers only once in its lifetime. When it reaches maturity, usually after several years, it produces a tall flowering stalk that can rise several feet above the foliage. The stalk bears clusters of tubular, yellowish flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Overall, Agave isthmensis is a charming and visually appealing succulent plant that adds a touch of elegance to gardens, rockeries, and container plantings. Its manageable size, attractive foliage, and relative hardiness make it a popular choice among succulent enthusiasts and gardeners.