Some of our plants have become lodgers in our gardens for so long that we often take their beauty and grandeur for granted. They become part of the furniture – with them, life is ultimately better. Without them, we would feel a sense of loss.

Agapanthus Inkspot
It isn’t until we really scrutinise our blooms, that we comprehend how unique each petal, bud, stem and leaf is. Each flower is carefully crafted and moulded by Mother Nature to bring happiness to our gardens and to increase our own well-being and contentment.

Agapanthus – take a bow as we applaud your versatility, uniqueness and splendour!

These plants are quickly becoming a personal favourite of mine (alongside many, many others) due to their modest, yet powerful ability to provide colourful structure and architecture to a garden. Their soft colouring provide a peaceful and calming aura which is what many of us require for our outdoor sanctuaries – a place to relinquish responsibility and stress.

Agapanthus plants have travelled far and wide from native South Africa to Western and Eastern provinces. They are summer flowering perennial plants that will provide prolonged colour and happiness within our flower beds and borders.

  • Agapanthus is commonly known as the ‘African Lily’ or ‘Lily of the Nile’ although they are not part of the lily family.

  • Agapanthus plants are native to South Africa where there is up to ten different species.

  • Agapanthus was named after the Greek words ‘agape’ and ‘anthos’ which when combined mean ‘love flower’.

  • In certain countries Agapanthus are classified as a weed due to their invasive nature.

  • It is suspected that Agapanthus cause haemolytic poisoning in humans where the sap creates painful ulcers in the mouth.

How to grow:

Agapanthus need not cause much stress and strain when you decide to implement them into your gardens. They embrace any position where they can catch as many rays as possible -they like a good sun tan and will thrive profusely in warm and sunny conditions. Make sure they are planted in fertile, well- drained soil that will retain some moisture. Appropriate soil types include sand,clay, chalk and loam although some heavy soil types will need amending with grit to improve the drainage. 

Agapanthus Twister (1) 
In flower beds:
The best time for planting Agapanthus is during spring where they should be positioned 5cm (2”) below the ground. 

Once established, hardy deciduous varieties should survive most UK conditions during the winter months. Tender varieties will need a mulch of straw - alternatively applying fleece to young plants will protect them from extreme conditions.

Agapanthus Twister (2)

In containers:

Agapanthus will steal the patio show if grown in a container – the limelight will well and truly be fixated on their stately slender stems and voluptuous flower heads. 

Potting compost is recommended to really elevate their health and development. Last but not least, ensure they are kept in a dry and light environment in late autumn such as a conservatory or greenhouse. 

How to care

Agapanthus blooms are hungry beings and so you may wish to provide them with a gourmet dinner in the form of a balanced liquid feed once a week, or fortnightly until the flowers greet you with unprecedented colour.

Agapanthus are sun lovers, therefore it is important to keep them hydrated with plenty of water during the growing season – you can then decrease this and water only sparingly during the winter.

Once the flowering period is over, stems should be cut down unless you wish to keep them intact to provide winter interest. 

Agapanthus Inkspot

If you have fallen in love with Agapanthus and want to spread oodles of them around your garden or community, have no fear! 

These plants are incredibly easy to propagate by division – this should ideally be undertaken during the spring time or early summer or alternatively after the plants have flowered in the autumn. 

Try not to go too overboard with the splitting of plants, as this will unfortunately diminish the amount of re appearing blooms. 

Why not give these a try in your own garden? Have I tempted you enough? Maybe this picture of Agapanthus Southern Cross will help. The subtle cool and calming tones will take you away to a world far away from your own, transporting you to paradise and tranquillity...

Agapanthus Southern Cross

Do you have any Agapanthus growing in your garden? What variety do you have?

I would love to hear your comments!

Until next time ...


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