Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’

Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ after I brought it home on 6-13-19, #588-4.

Agave ‘Pineapple Express’


x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’


x Mangave ‘Jaguar and x Mangave ‘Bloodspot’

I have always wanted to try x Mangave and Manfreda so I was very happy to find this x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’ at Wildwood Greenhouse on June 13, 2019. This cultivar was released by Walters Gardens in 2016 as part of their “Mad About Mangave® Collection” created by Hans Hansen. Mr. Hansen is a foremost breeder and has created many cultivars of many types of plants. 

Now, let me see if I can explain the whole Agave, Manfreda, x Mangave ordeal…

The genus, Manfreda Salisb., was initially named and described as such by Richard Anthony Salisbury in The Genera of Plants in 1866. Version 1.1 of The Plant List (not maintained since 2013 but still online), lists 33 accepted species in the genus and 98 synonyms. World Flora Online superseded The Plant List but uploaded the outdated data which it hasn’t corrected yet… From what I gather, they are supposed to upload up-to-date data from Plants of the World Online by Kew. All, I am saying, is there “were” 38 accepted species in the Manfreda genus in the last update in 2013… 

OK, so many of the species in Manfreda had previously been in the Agave genus, or likely moved back and forth over the years. Some people referred to them as one or the other which was fine as long as the names were validly published. Taxonomy is confusing sometimes. I don’t know what date, but it was determined that due to molecular and genetic evidence the species in the genera Manfreda and Polianthes be included in the Agave genus. Some species retained their species names while others were renamed or were already synonymous with other Agave species in the first place. Some reject the change because of the differences between Agave, Manfreda, and the hybrids. 

The genus, Agave L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. Ummm… There are 21 synonyms, which of course, include Manfreda, x Mangave, and Polianthes… 

As of 11-14-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 283 accepted species of Agave. It is a member of the plant family Asparagaceae with 120 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.


x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’ on 6-13-19, #588-5.

The Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ was created by Hans Hansen of Walter’s Gardens who applied for a patent I think in 2016. The original cross between x Mangave ‘Jaguar’ and x Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ began in 2011 and after several years of breeding work it was released to the public in 2016.

Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ at 4 1/2″ tall x 9″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-75.

The Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ did very well, but I had to bring the potted plants inside for the winter on October 11 (2019). I always take photos of the cactus and succulents when I bring them inside and take measurements. I forgot to measure this plant when I brought it home, but it was 4 1/2″ tall x 9″ wide on October 11.

Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ on 10-11-19, #639-76.

I really like the olive green color of the leaves with the maroon spots. The margins of the leaves have tiny teeth and they are tipped with a brownish spine…

Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-2.

I had several plants that needed re-potted, so I started doing that on November 13. Ummm… Information says this cultivar is slow to offset, but it already had one when I re-potted it…


Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ at 9″ tall x 13″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-5.

I had to move the potted plants inside on Octobe 15 because an “F” was in the forecast. The x Agave ‘Pineapple Express’ has done very well and measured 9″tall x 13″ wide. It had about 10 offsets!!!

Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ on 10-15-20, #747-6.


Agave (syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ at 11 1/2″ tall x 20″ wide on 8-17-21, #826-2.

The Agave ‘Pineapple Express’ has grown very well over the summer in 2021 and is now 11 1/2″ tall x 20″ wide. NICE!

Agave (syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ on 8-17-21, #826-3.

Family: Asparagaceae
Origin: Hybrid
Zones: USDA Zones (8b)9-11 (15 to 45° F/-9.4 to 7.2° C)
Size: 9-18” tall x 12-24” wide
*Light: Full sun to part shade
**Soil: Well-drained. Fine in the ground where hardy, but I have to keep mine in a pot. Good quality potting soil amended with pumice (50/50) or additional perlite and chicken grit (2-1-1).
***Water: Regular watering during the summer, barely during the winter.

*During the summer, I keep most of my cactus on the back deck where they receive full sun. During the winter most cactus aren’t picky about the light because they are basically dormant. For several winters, mine were in front of the east-facing sliding door in the dining room so they didn’t get much light but they did great. I built a new shelf for the bedroom so now they are in front of a west-facing window. Most of the succulents are on a shelf in a south-facing window in a cool bedroom but a few are in my bedroom. I had the x Mangave(Agave) ‘Pineapple Express’ on the back porch with the cactus in 2019 but it was on the front porch during the summer in 2020. It grew much bigger on the front porch… 

**When it comes to potting soil, finding the “sweet spot” is not exactly that easy when materials are limited. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts (and experts) do not recommend using peat-based commercial mixes but what choice is there for most of us. They say to use a loam-based mix… Hmmm… Our soil is loam, so do I just use dirt? Well, no because “dirt” is heavy and you need a “light” material. There is A LOT of cactus and succulent recipes online and some get pretty elaborate. Many say to use sand as an ingredient, but if you do that, it needs to be very coarse, like builders sand, because “ordinary” sand, like for sandboxes, is too fine and it clogs up the air space between the coarser ingredients. For MANY years I used 2 parts Miracle Grow or Schultz Potting amended with an additional 1 part of perlite and 1 part chicken grit. Schultz doesn’t seem to have as many large pieces of bark. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts recommended using pumice instead of perlite and grit so I checked it out… The “guy” at General Pumice (online) recommended using a 50/50 mix of potting soil and pumice. General Pumice has 3 different sizes to choose from depending on the size of the pot. SO, in 2018 I bought a bag of 1/8″ and mixed it 50/50 with Miracle Grow Potting Soil. I liked it pretty well. Then in 2020, since most of the cactus were in larger pots, I ordered the 1/4″ size. Pumice has a lot of benefits over perlite and has nutrients that are added to the soil when watering. Pumice is also heavier so it stays mixed in the soil instead of “floating” to the top. Still, there is the issue of the mix getting very hard once you stop watering the plants during the winter when you stop watering. I think this is because of the peat in the potting soil… SO, instead of re-potting the cactus and succulents in the spring, I started doing it during the fall and winter so their soil would be loose. Since you don’t water as frequently during the winter if at all, the timed-release fertilizer does not activate unless you water on a regular basis. I have not tried coir, but I am looking into it… 

I think a lot of growing tips online are written by people who never grew succulents and cactus. They just copy from one website and paste it to theirs. You have to sort of mimic the soil where species grow in their native habitat. For that, you almost have to go see for yourself… Typically, they grow in fairly rocky soil.

***I water my cactus and succulents on a regular basis during the summer but barely ever in the winter (maybe a little in January) until close to time to take them back outside. 


Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ at 11 1/2″ tall x 20″ wide on 8-17-21, #826-2.

The Agave ‘Pineapple Express’ has done well and has grown to 11 1/2″ tall x 20″ wide. This is a great plant!

Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ from the top on 8-17-21, #826-3.

I didn’t take any photos of the Agave ‘Pineapple Express’ in 2022, but it is alive and well.

You can read my Cactus Talk & Update and Cactus & Succulent Tips to get my opinion about growing cactus and succulents.

When you bring your new plants home from the store, you need to check their roots and the soil to see if they are wet. If so, you may want to re-pot it right away. It is advisable to re-pot them in a better potting soil more suitable for cactus and succulents.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


2 comments on “Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’

  1. AP Southsea UK says:

    Hello, I just been given 2 Mangave (as I love Agave’s but I never heard of this hybrid))
    But nowhere is this crucial information:
    1) Easily damaged by Snails & Slugs
    2) Very Fragile leaves
    3) Contradictory Min. temperature: Sometimes +16⁰C (60F) sometimes -10⁰C (as Agave’s)
    4) No visible difference between Manfreda maculosa, Agave Maculosa & Mangave Pineapple Express

    1) As I had placed my new Mangavé Pineapple Express on a south-facing step outside, the first rain arrived after 2 months of drought and the next morning, I was upset to find 3 leaves had been ATTACKED by a small SNAIL asleep at the back of the pot.
    2) As I tried to gently re-pot my new Mangavé Moonglow which already had 3-4 broken leaves, each LEAVE I touched seem to BREAK so easily that I ended up with an ugly plant with 6-7 broken leaves.
    3) Minimum temperature terrible CONFUSION:
    -10⁰C on
    60⁰F=+16⁰C on

    4) How do I know if I have a Manfreda or an Mangavé?

    Click to access SMG2021_CatalogNP.pdf

    Manfreda maculosa [Agave maculosa] – (Long leaves spotted with purple)
    Mangavé ‘Pineapple Express’ PP28,613 – (Slender gray-green leaves spotted burgundy)
    SINCE Mangavé ‘Bloodspot’ = (Agave macroacantha x Manfreda. maculosa) – (Gray-green lvs maroon speckled)
    AND your article says” The Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ was created by Hans Hansen of Walter’s Gardens … in 2016. The original cross between x Mangave ‘Jaguar’ and x Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ began in 2011

    Thank you for any help

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Alain! I remember when I brought home my x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’. I was excited I found one locally since I had a few x Mangave on my wish list. Then, when I did research about it for this site, I was shocked to find out x Mangave and Manfreda were synonyms of Agave. In other words, Manfreda had changed back to where it started as an Agave. Not only that, but other genera in the family had also been moved back to Agave despite their differences. It was a big mess and very confusing to explain…

      I am not sure how much you know about plants or scientific names, so forgive me if I say something you already know. Currently, Plants of the World Online lists 21 synonyms, genera that are now Agave. That includes 282 species of Agave, many with the same cultural requirements, but not all. Some species require different growing conditions and some have different minimum temperature. Southern Missouri, for example, has native Agave species… USDA Zones range from 7 to 9 on the low side.

      Now, mind you, not all databases agree with Plants of the World Online. For example, World Flora Online lists only 8 synonyms of Agave, but Manfreda and Mangave are on the list… They are all continually a work in progress.

      It is highly likely, as you said, that ‘Pineapple Express’ looks like Mangave maculosa, especially in photos. I did look at images of A. maculosa and you are certainly correct. Differences may be more noticeable in person such as in growth habit or something else. I don’t know because I have only seen Agave maculosa in photos. Since there are so many x Agave cultivars, many are bound to look alike.

      The leaves of x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’ are definitely more fragile than Agave species I have grown which are very stiff and thick. The leaves of Mangave thus are susceptible to a host of insect pests in certain parts of the country. Mine is in a pot on a table on the front porch. They don’t have many problems while outside over the summer, but they are also susceptible to mealy bugs over the winter while inside. It is a pain where snails and slugs can be an issue. I seem to have no problems with them on the front and back deck. I had problems with a visitor during the night where I had my plants before… The plant tables were on the ground. One night I went out with a flashlight to investigate and found crickets were the culprit. Even eating holes in some of the cactus!!! Once I found that out, I moved the tables to the front and back porch. The cactus went to the back porch in full sun, and the rest of the plants, even the succulents, went on the front porch. It is hard to know where slugs and snails can be a problem, but sometimes if you see a shiny streak on the side of your house, foundation, plants in flower beds, etc., then you know slugs or snails are present.

      Sorry to hear about the leaves on your Mangave ‘Moonglow’. I hate it when something like that happens. Its leaves must be more fragile.

      I always get confused when temperatures are listed in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. What’s worse is when different websites don’t match for the same plants. Most plants can take it fairly cold, like in the upper 30’s (F) but can’t tolerate a frost. I leave my plants outside usually until a frost is in the forecast. When to put them back out in the spring is the tricky part… Sometimes I put them out and have to bring them back inside.

      Well, as far as knowing if you have a Manfreda or Mangave is concerned… Correctly, Manfreda x Mangave are Agaves now. Of course, many websites are still using the other names and probably always will. As long as scientific names are validly published, they can use any name they choose. Many websites use names based on their supplier or the label that came with their plants, which may have changed. A lot of scientific names have changed in the last several years and they get hard to keep up with. Some websites have no clue and were written when the names they use were accepted.

      You basically have to read all you can and then learn from experience. Sometimes there isn’t much online except for companies selling plants. They could be written by someone who hasn’t even grown plants.

      Thanks for the comment and if you have further questions, I am always here to help. Take care!


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