Growing Agapanthus (African Lily Plants) is easy in seaside conditions and can they can be grown in borders or containers!
Blue and white Agapanthus add an exotic touch to your flower beds and rockeries. On top of that, the Lily of the Nile is a great container plant for larger pots. They thrive even in the most exposed seaside gardens. No need for shelter!
Growing Agapanthus plants is really easy and they are a real bonus in your garden. They are definitely one of my favorites! African Lilies require little care and reward you with their wonderful tall stemmed flowers for weeks during July and August. Plant the Lily of the Nile in the right spot and you will enjoy this trouble-free plant for years.
African Lilies are great plants for rockeries, mixed borders or flower beds. They are great companions for Kniphofias, Crocosmias, Rudbeckias, Coreopsis or Hardy Geraniums.
They will thrive even in the windiest coastal garden without any shelter. Although their flower stems are long they are very strong and won't break in the wind.
Location: choose an open sunny spot that is not shaded by other plants. The plant won't flower if planted in too much shade.
Soil: The ground should be well drained. Add some compost if your soil is too heavy.
Feeding: Feed with poultry manure or other organic fertilizer in the spring.
Watering: Water the plants in dry weather. Plants in containers have to be watered regularly.
Propagation: Plants can be divided in the spring and replanted. Seed grown plants will take 4-5 years before they flower.
Maintenance: Remove flowers stems in late autumn or winter. Apply a thick layer of mulch in cold areas. Agapanthus are not fully frost hardy. They can get damaged by severe and long frosts. Covering them with garden fleece will help.
African Lilies make great perennial container plants. Choose a medium or large sized container.
They are best planted on their own because of their large root. While plants are young and don't fill the containers yet you can add some summer flowering bedding plants like viola, pansies or lobelias around them for additional color.
Feed and water the plants regularly during the growing season. We use an organic liquid fertilizer for that.
Potted Agapanthus may need to be divided after a few years. The roots will eventually start to push the plant up in the container. That is a sure sign that the plant is running out of root space. Take it out of the pot in early spring and divide the root ball. I usually use a saw for this quite tough job. Make sure you divide the center of the plant. It should have several growing points Each piece needs at least one or more growing points. Replant about a third of the plant back into the container with fresh potting soil.
Here are more container gardening tips!
In cold areas, it is safest to overwinter the plants inside in a cool but bright place. Otherwise, wrap the pots in bubble wrap.
Check this page on how to protect plants from frost!
Agapanthus africanus: dark purple flowers up to 40-65 cm high during July - August.
Agapanthus praecox: This is probably the most common type. The leaves are up to 75 cm long. Flowers up to 120 cm tall. The light or dark blue flowers are very large. A. praecox 'Albus' has white flowers. Many cultivars and hybrids are available.
Agapanthus campanulatus: This variety is deciduous and loses all the foliage during the winter. The sky blue flowers are 50 cm high. There are also white varieties of this form.