Clump forming, fleshy rooted perennial, mainly from South Africa. Plants are tender to semi-hardy, so can be damaged by frost and will therefore need a sunny sheltered position or indoor winter protection. In general, the narrow leaved forms are frost hardy and the broad leaved varieties are half hardy.

Family: Agapanthaceae
Botanical Name: Agapanthus
Common Name: African lily

Foliage: Green narrow strap like leaves. Some species are evergreen.
Flowers: Loose balls or clusters of trumpet-shaped blooms, born on erect stems high above the foliage. Violet, blue or white (depending on variety).
Flowering Period: July, August, September.
Soil: Well drained, fertile soil. Any pH. Dislikes waterlogged conditions, especially in winter.
Conditions: Full sun, south or west facing, sheltered. Will tolerate some shade for part of the day.
Habit: Clump forming.
Type: Herbaceous perennial.
Hardiness: Half-hardy deciduous to hardy evergreen (depending on variety).

Planting and Growing Agapanthus

Easy to grow. Plant in spring or early autumn. Plant in a fertile well drained soil, in a sunny but sheltered position. Bury the crowns about 2 in (50cm) below ground level. Water well during the growing and flowering season. Do not disturb once established.

Ideal as a border edging plant or grown in pots and tubs.

Taking Care of Agapanthus

Cut back flower stems to ground level after flowering. Divide mature clumps every five or six years.

In cold areas, give hardy varieties some protection in winter by covering the crown with coarse sand, mulch or bracken. Grow half-hardy varieties in pots and over winter under cover.

Pruning Agapanthus

Cut back flowering stems once flowers have faded.

Pests and Diseases

Generally pest and disease free.

Propagating Agapanthus

Increase stock by dividing mature clumps in spring. Can also be raised from seed in the autumn.

Popular Varieties of Agapanthus Grown in the UK

Evergreen and deciduous varieties are available. Colours range from pale blue to deep violet and white. The 'Headbourne Hybrids' are the hardiest type grown in the UK.

agapanthus africanusA. africanus deep blue flowers late summer, deciduous broad dark green leaves. Half-hardy. Height 3ft (1m) spread 1.5ft (50cm).

agapanthus albusA. africanus albus a white flowered version. Half-hardy. Height: 3ft (1m), spread: 1.5ft (50cm).

agapanthus hybridA. 'Headbourne Hybrids' violet to pale blue flowers from July to September. Height & spread: 2ft (60cm).

A. campanulatus blue flowers on strong stems, July - August. Narrow greyish green leaves. Height: 2ft (60cm), spread: 1.5ft (45cm).

A. orientalis vivid blue flower heads from July to September. White and double forms also available. Height Height: 2ft (60cm), spread: 1.5ft (45cm).