Mr. D's Plant of the Week Series: Blue Agapanthus

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Colorful flowers always add fullness to a home’s beautiful display, as the gorgeous Blue Agapanthus does. It is especially attractive when this lily of the Nile is seen in your garden bed or along your walkway, amassed in a broad array fully blooming.

The Agapanthus orientalis, (its scientific name; pronounced: ag-uh-PANTH-us or-ee-en-TAY-liss), from the family of Amaryllidaceae, can also complement your patio when used as simple accents planted inside containers, pots or above ground planters.

If you’ve never seen this perennial before, it has clusters of large, blue, lavender or purple, funnel-like blooms. These flowers sit on long stalks towering over the green leaves in its bundle below. The best time to spot this African Lily in full bloom is during its peak times of the year which is summer and early fall.

How to plant and grow the Blue Agapanthus

According to the USDA hardiness zone map north Florida falls within zones 9 thru 11 for a possible planting range. When it comes to planting this perennial there are five questions to consider first:

  1. Are you planting in a garden bed?

  2. Will you use a container instead?

  3. What type of soil to use?

  4. Where will you plant?

  5. How much spacing will you need?

When you’re planting in a garden bed, note that the Agapanthus does have fat roots and leaves. That makes them susceptible to frost damage, but once they’ve gone through their first winter, they usually can withstand most weather conditions after that.

With container planting, you have a trade-off. In the winter you can move the pots inside; where it is warmer, however, you must carefully watch the roots. The Agapanthus doesn't like to spacious potting because it encourages leaf growth, not the flower production you might want. So, you’ll need to restrict root development while making sure the plant stays appropriately watered and fed.

The type of soil the Blue Agapanthus thrives in will be moist, organic soil conditions and once established can endure most drought conditions. Furthermore, when planted it’s best to have the perennial placed where it gets exposed to the full sun or partial shade. It will then develop a large clump, making for an attractive accent plant or groundcover.

Finally, when spacing your African Lily during planting or from seeding the best spacing practice recommendation is about a foot and half to two feet apart for a full and even groundcover effect.

Mr. D’s Blue Agapanthus Planting Tip

The Agapanthus are like daylilies. There is the best time to divide them, and there is the best time to plant them from seed. According to Mr. D, his planting tip for the right time to divide the plant is from September to October. The optimal time to plant them from seed is from April to May.

Having beautiful large blooms, and stout stems, the Blue Agapanthus makes an elegant and formational addition to your walkway or the border of a ground-level patio. Not only planted but also in a line of pots, containers or above-ground planters.

If you found the Blue Agapanthus interesting, then check out Mr. D's Plant of the Week Series: Southern Wood Fern and we hope you’ll enjoy it too!