13 Agapanthus Flowers Lily of the Nile Care and Grow, Tips 2022

13 Agapanthus Flowers Lily of the Nile Care and Grow, Tips 2022

Agapanthus is the only genus in the subfamily Agapanthoideae of the flowering plant family Amaryllidaceae. The family is in the monocot order Asparagales. The name is derived from Greek: ἀγάπη, ἄνθος. Some species of Agapanthus are commonly known as lily of the Nile, or African lily in the UK.

  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

The blue agapanthus needs a lot of water, especially during the first months before and during flowering. In this way, from April we should do a constant and abundant watering. If, in addition, we live in a very hot climate, in the summer months we must be rigorous with watering


Growing agapanthus is not complicated at all. We will see how to care for agapanthus plants during each season: spring, summer, fall and winter. In spring, fertilize your agapanthus to stimulate a generous flowering. In summer, enjoy its showy flowers. In autumn, collect the seeds; in winter, you must protect them because they cannot bear strong frosts.

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  1. The agapanthus
  2. Multiply agapanthus
  • Rhizome division
  • Seeds
  1. Agapanthus care
  • I usually
  • Light
  • Irrigation
  • Fertilizer
  • Plagues and diseases
  1. Plants to combine with agapanthus
  2. Plant agapanthus in a pot
  3. Planting agapanthus in the garden soil
  4. Flower cutting


Agapanthus is a perennial herbaceous plant with rhizomatous roots and elongated leaves from a short central stem. In spring, from the centre of the plant, a cylindrical stem appears that grows and lengthens beyond the length of the leaves until it culminates in a globose umbel. Each umbel contains numerous blue or white flowers, joined by the peduncle, which gives the inflorescence its characteristic spherical shape.

In summer, these elegant bulbous plants reward you with spectacular flowers for the little care you give them during the year. Agapanthus africanus flowers can be blue or white, and they are always stunning. They never cease to amaze me when this time of year arrives, and I see them open up and form those large spheres of flowers that so decorate our garden.

Agapanthus is a plant native to South Africa introduced to Europe during the seventeenth century and quickly spread to all countries on the continent. It is widely used in ornamental gardening because of the minor maintenance it needs, and it is frequently seen in public gardens in many cities. They tolerate a wide range of temperatures, even mild frosts (-5ºC). If temperatures drop below zero, the plant will lose its leaves but regain them the following season. Agapanthus should be covered with padding to protect them from the cold in cold climates.

The genus Agapanthus is made up of many species; some are so similar that it is a problem to classify them all. The South African botanist Frances Leighton classified them, in 1965, into ten different species: four of them evergreen and six deciduous. Currently, only six are recognized: two perennials and four deciduous. I only know the Agapanthus africanus,  of which there are many different cultivars, but Wikipedia, you can find the list with the rest of the species.

The name “Agapanthus” comes from the Greek words agape, which means love, and anthos, flower. That is why it is said that the agapanthus is the flower of love.


Agapanthus can be reproduced by seed, but it is pretty complicated for the amateur gardener. However, it is elementary to multiply them in spring by dividing the plants. The roots of agapanthus are rhizomes, underground stems that extend underground, emitting roots and green shoots that give rise to a new plant. The technique is simple: dig around the plant to extract portions of the rhizome planted separately.

13 Agapanthus Flowers Lily of the Nile Care and Grow, Tips 2022


It is the easiest and fastest way to get new plants:

  • Dig around the plant until the roots are visible.
  • Nail the shovel to divide the plant in half. The seeds are very hard; you will have to use force but do it delicately to damage as little as possible.
  • Divide the sources you have extracted, ensuring that each piece has at least one sprout.
  • You can plant the details in a pot or the garden’s soil, but it should be a sandy substrate that drains well. They say they do best in slightly acidic soils; maybe that’s why in my garden, although it’s gone, they don’t do too well. Keep this in mind if you want your agapanthus to be extraordinary.


Multiplying agapanthus from seeds is a slow process that I have never achieved, but it is not impossible. It is done in late summer or fall when the flowers have matured, and the seeds have formed. You will see them. They are almost black inside elongated pods that form at the end of each peduncle. You can see them in this other entry: collect agapanthus seeds.

  • Prepare a deep seedbed or tray at least 10 cm deep by filling it with seedbed substrate or compost mixed with sand.
  • Put the seeds on the surface and cover them with a thin substrate layer.
  • Place the seedbed in a semi-shady spot that receives some filtered sunlight and water twice a day with water spray.
  • Seeds can take up to 6 to 8 weeks to germinate.
  • It would help if you kept the plants in the tray for the first year. Second, you can separate them into individual pots. Third, you can already plant them in the garden. It may still take another two or three seasons for them to bloom.


13 Agapanthus Flowers Lily of the Nile Care and Grow, Tips 2022
13 Agapanthus Flowers Lily of the Nile Care and Grow, Tips 2022


Agapanthus `adapt well to any soil type, but they do not tolerate waterlogging because the rhizomes rot quickly. Whether the soil is neutral, slightly alkaline or acidic, there will be no problem if it drains well, and the plant will thrive. But if the pH of the substrate is slightly acidic, the agapanthus will be much more comfortable and will become unusual plants.


They can thrive in both sun and semi-shade. In full sun, they bloom best, but in arid climates, the mid-day sun can harm them. My experience is that they grow well in full sun if they are in the ground, but if they are in pots, it is better to place them in a place with a few hours of sun a day.


Agapanthus tolerates drought, but water is essential for them to have a good flowering. If iT is thirsty, iT may not flourish that season. It should be watered in moderation: during autumn and winter, it will be enough to water when the substrate is dry; in spring and summer, it is better to keep it slightly damp.


We add a handful of organic fertilizers per plan at the end of winter: worm castings or manure. In the middle of spring, to stimulate the formation of flowers, we are interested in fertilizing with a fertilizer rich in potassium and low in nitrogen that we will apply diluted in water every fifteen days.


I confess that I have ever had an agapanthus plant die due to the accumulation of water in the pot, with the consequent rotting of the root, but I have never seen any other type of disease in them. Nor have they been attacked by any plague. But I have found the leaves bitten by snails or grasshoppers. It has never been a severe problem, but there are ways to keep them out if it is.


Agapanthus go very well with other sun-loving plants. They are very decorative, both alone and with others, and they look fantastic in a tropical-style garden. On an aesthetic level, we especially like the groups of agapanthus with yellow hemerocallis or agapanthus with tulbaghias.


There is no problem in growing agapanthus in pots; they are plants that do very well in containers and having tight roots encourages them to flourish. The soil in the pool must have a high sand content to drain well; agapanthus does not do well to have soggy roots. A mixture of 60% compost and 40% sand will be fine.

The pots with agapanthus are very decorative due to the shape of their leaves. They can spend several seasons in the same pool, but when the roots appear on the surface, it is time to change the pot and divide. The agapanthus is very resistant, and some divide them at any time of the year with success. Still, it is convenient to do it in winter.

13 Agapanthus Flowers Lily of the Nile Care and Grow, Tips 2022
13 Agapanthus Flowers Lily of the Nile Care and Grow, Tips 2022


If you plant agapanthus in the garden, you must bear in mind that the rhizomes spread quickly, and in a few years, you can have many plants where you planted only one. It can be an incentive if you have a large garden, but an actual invasion can occur in small gardens.

Another consideration when planting agapanthus in the garden is the weather. If you are in a cold winter climate, you should cover the plants to protect them from the cold.


Agapanthus are single-flowering plants. You will not have another if you cut the flower until the following season. Still, agapanthus is a beautiful ornamental flower, and just one is enough to fill a vase or form a bouquet. Sometimes I have cut agapanthus from my garden to decorate at home, but I don’t usually do it because I have few, and I prefer to enjoy them outside the home. In a bouquet, I have informed myself, and each stick of agapanthus costs about € 2. I’d instead buy them then cut my own.

Cut agapanthus flowers last one to two weeks in water. To lengthen its freshness as much as possible, it is advisable to change the water and cut a piece from the base of the fallen stem for 2-3 days.

You know well the care that agapanthus need is essential to get healthy and beautiful plants. We hope that this article has clarified your possible doubts, but do not hesitate to ask in the comments if you still have any.

Where is the best place to plant agapanthus?

full sun
Agapanthus thrive in full sun and need 6-8 hours of sunlight each day. However, they do better in partial shade in hot climate areas. Agapanthus perform best in fertile, moist and well-drained soil. They show no preference for pH, except Agapanthus africanus which prefers an acid soil.

Do agapanthus come back every year?

With proper care, agapanthus flowering occurs repeatedly for several weeks throughout the season, then this perennial powerhouse returns to put on another show the next year. Agapanthus is a nearly indestructible plant and, in fact, most agapanthus varieties self-seed generously and may even become somewhat weedy.

Is agapanthus a perennial or annual?

Agapanthus, a popular perennial that grows from a bulb-like rhizome, is a tough survivor in the face of chronic drought. Their strappy evergreen or semi-evergreen leaves provide winter presence while blue or white flowers add a charge of mid to late summer color.

Does agapanthus like sun or shade?

full sun
Grow all agapanthus in well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid planting in shade as they won’t flower much.

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