It is usually love at first sight and you may decide that you want to grow agapanthus in your garden. But, before you do, you need to know how to grow and care for agapanthus. Or else your efforts may go in vain if it is incorrect.
Growing agapanthus requires a hot climate with regular watering, well-draining soil, and fertilizer twice a year.
Where you plant agapanthus will also affect its growth. Caring for agapanthus revolves around pest and winter protection, dividing, and deadheading.
How to Grow Agapanthus? Every Step – From Planting
Want to know the whole process to grow agapanthus? Follow our step-by-step guide.
- Firstly, you should have an idea about where you want to plant the agapanthus. Situate the plant such that it receives sun from the north and shade from the south. You also need to decide if you want your agapanthus to be planted in the ground or in a pot.
- Which variants of agapanthus will suit your location, evergreen agapanthus or deciduous agapanthus? Deciduous are more hardy.
- Agapanthus bulbs should be placed in holes that are 2 inches deep with a spacing of 8 to 10 inches from the next bulb.
- If growing in pots, select a pot with a depth and width of 12 x 12 inches.
- Regarding soil, choose from peat, loam, organic, or potted mix as long as it is relatively fertile, and well-draining.
- Assure your agapanthus is getting more sun than shade, ideally a minimum of 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.
- Once planted, agapanthus needs regular watering, and if in hot climates, mulching will be necessary to keep the plant cool and retain moisture.
- Fertilize agapanthus in spring and again 2 months later to ensure growth throughout the year and flowering in spring/summer the next year.
- Agapanthus prefers frequent watering especially after fertilizing and planting or repotting, it moistens the soil well and will promote growth.
- As time passes, deadheading agapanthus flowers induce blooming or neaten the plant while preventing seeds from falling and growing.
- During winter, ensure agapanthus grow by providing winter frost protection, bringing them indoors is a good option.
Finally, ensure you provide all of this to your agapanthus to grow healthy and flower better.
Read about where to buy Agapanthus to get the best Agapanthus plants.
Growing Agapanthus From Seed
Alternatively, you can grow agapanthus from seeds at any time of the year. However, be wary that these plants will take 3 to 5 years to flower.
To grow agapanthus through this method you must carefully cover the seeds. Then, maintain the temperature at 75°F for a period of 21-35 days. During which the seeds will germinate and begin to grow.
How to Grow and Care for Agapanthus Indoors?
Agapanthus are not very cold hardy. So, it is not uncommon to grow and care for agapanthus in pots indoors during winter.
- For this, you need a pot that is preferable equally as deep as it is wide. 12×12 inches is usually adequate.
- Use fertile soil with excellent drainage but be sure to water sparingly during winter and need to be placed in the sunlight or under artificial light.
- Temperatures should be 35-45°F for the plant to remain viable.
- Also, instead of transferring your entire plant to a pot to grow indoors, you can also salvage the bulbs.
- Harvest the bulbs during dormancy and store them in a dark, dry room with a temperature of 40-50°F.
- Plant these bulbs in spring once temperatures have warmed up.
If you live in a very cold state, growing agapanthus indoors is your best bet.
Do Deer Eat Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus)? Ways to Deter Deer
How to Care For Agapanthus?
Want to grow agapanthus properly and ensure long-lived blooming? How you care for agapanthus will influence whether you achieve this goal or not.
Thankfully, agapanthus is not overly greedy and you won’t have constant fertilizing sessions to grow and care for agapanthus. In fact, it’s the opposite. A mere two applications and your agapanthus will be set for the year!
Provide agapanthus with 5-5-5 (N-P-K) fertilizer once in Spring for optimal growth and a spurt for flower production. Then again fertilize them 2/3 months later.
That’s it. Agapanthus growing in Africa with poor soil fertility may be the reason why these plants are not ferocious nutrient absorbers.
The activity of deadheading almost replaces pruning in a regular plant. Agapanthus foliage is usually only cut down if you wish to get rid of the plant, eliminate infected foliage, or divide and replant it.
Deadheading is the practice of removing flower heads once flowers are spent (dead or faded). Carrying out deadheading on agapanthus is beneficial as it stimulates more flowering in reblooming agapanthus.
Reblooming agapanthus can bloom 2-3 times a blooming season if deadheaded. Even then, deadheading non-reblooming agapanthus keeps it tame and prevents seed dispersal.
Evidently, deadheading acts as pruning and is important if you want to care for agapanthus plants.
Want to know how many times you will have to deadhead Agapanthus? Read about how often Agapanthus bloom.
No matter what approach you use to grow agapanthus, you’ll notice that when happy, they grow fast and become bushy! This is bad news since it will affect the blooming capacity of your plants.
How often and when to divide agapanthus is something gardeners should take note of to guarantee a steady supply of these appealing flowers in your garden.
Divide Evergreen agapanthus every 3-4 years and Deciduous agapanthus every 6-8 years to ensure proper care and growth. This process is relatively easy but takes more time the more agapanthus plants you own.
Protecting Your Agapanthus From Frost
Evergreen agapanthus is not as hardy as deciduous and semi-deciduous agapanthus, hence you must care for agapanthus plants of this type.
The majority of agapanthus need protection from frost if you reside in a frost-prone state. Luckily, you can give your agapanthus a fighting chance by bringing it indoors during winter. Use a grow light to provide enough sun to the plants.
You can then transfer the plants back to the outdoors when winter passes. An alternative for hardy agapanthus is to water them before the ground freezes, thus they can overwinter.
Protecting Your Agapanthus From Pests
Another aspect that you must consider while caring for agapanthus is the pest factor. Despite being generally unliked and immune, these plants do have enemies!
A few pests that tend to harass agapanthus are:
- Red Spider Mites
- Mealy Bugs
- Snails and Slugs
- Deer (in desperate circumstances)
Usually wiping with soapy water, disposing of the infected matter, organic pesticide, scattered diatomaceous earth at the plant base, and fencing can work to repel all these agapanthus pests.
Read more – 7 Pests That Can Eat Agapanthus And Ways To Fix
Identifying, preventing, and treating disease is common when growing agapanthus. Despite their relative hardy nature, they do suffer from the following diseases:
- Powdery mildew
- Root rot
Preventing these diseases is better than treating them and the possibility of not being able to save them in time. On a weekly basis, check your plant for irregularities, on and under the leaves and on flower heads.
Where to Plant Agapanthus?
A great deal of how to grow and care for agapanthus depends on where you plant agapanthus. That’s because half of the growing tips are taken care of if the location is ideal. Here are the factors that decide the planting location.
It’s no secret, that these plants arise from very hot countries that have extremely sunny days. Actually, they are so adapted to it that a large amount of their time must be in the sun.
Agapanthus plants grow in sunny locations and need a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. That said, these plants will receive the required sunlight requirements when planted in full sun or partial shade.
Shade should never claim the majority of exposure time for these plants as they will struggle to grow. Also, lack of sun/excessive shade can be one of the reasons why your agapanthus is not flowering.
Naturally, judging from the origin of Agapanthus, you can tell these plants are meant for hot climates. Agapanthus are indigenous to South Africa and a handful of other African countries. However, either through acclimatization or genetic modification, they can be grown in the following countries:
- New Zealand
The ideal temperature to grow agapanthus is 50-60°F (12-15°C). But, these plants are very cold intolerant given their origin. You will have to bring your agapanthus indoors when temperatures drop below 25°F/-4°C.
Note- Initial germination of agapanthus plants requires a much higher temperature of 70-80°F.
The above stats do vary based on which variant of agapanthus you have. Also, genetics could play a role as well.
Appropriate growing temperatures and cold sensitivity/hardiness differ greatly based on whether your agapanthus is evergreen or deciduous.
- Evergreens grow in USDA zones 8 to 11 and are intolerant to cold and require indoor protection during winter.
- Deciduous grow in USDA zones 6 and are cold hardy and may be able to survive outdoors when the right precautions are taken.
Growing agapanthus is not as fussy when it comes to soil characteristics which makes it a pleasure to grow. However, these plants cannot handle waterlogging well. Thus, avoid soils that retain water, these means steer clear of clay-rich soils.
Agapanthus grows in a wide range of soils including loamy soils, organic soils, and even predetermined potting mixes. As for pH, these plants grow well in slightly acidic to slightly neutral soils with pH of 5.5 to 7.5.
Water-holding soil will begin to affect the bulbs and roots which lay embedded in the ground. Signs and symptoms will soon reveal themselves if the soil is excessively moist or wet.
If you want to grow and care for agapanthus you must first know what their natural growing conditions are.
To grow agapanthus, you need to select the right area and this depends on sun exposure, temperature, and soil.
When it comes to caring for agapanthus certain things will lead to better flowering, health, and longevity of your agapanthus, they are:
- Applying fertilizer
- Protection against frost
- Pest protection
- Disease prevention through regular assessment
Remember, if you skip dividing, there are chances that your Agapanthus could become a weed!
Yes, agapanthus spread! These plants are prolific seed producers and also spread through rhizomes. Also, they become invasive because they grow rapidly and any bulb or root matter can give rise to a new plant in a short time frame. You might end up wanting to know to get rid of agapanthus!
To add appeal to your garden, grow agapanthus with Daylilies, Allium, Iris, Hydrangea, Daisies, and Alyssum. The different colors of the flowers of these plants will look appealing and complement your agapanthus. Most of these plants fit right into the same conditions that agapanthus grows well in.