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A picture of a Common Agapanthus

Common Agapanthus

Agapanthus praecox

Also known as

African Lily, Blue Lily, Lily of the Nile, Blue lily, Agapant, Bloulelie, Isicakathi, Ubani

Agapanthus praecox-IMG 8965 by C T Johansson (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Half-hardy

H3

RHS hardiness

-5°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1.5m

Max

60cm

50cm

Min

10cm

2 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Common Agapanthus

A close up of Agapanthus praecox purple flower buds
A close up of an Agapanthus praecox purple flower
A close up of a flower
A close up of a flower
Purple Agapanthus praecox flowers sitting in a garden

Common Agapanthus Overview

Agapanthus praecox is a popular blue or white flowering perennial from the Amaryllidaceae family. It forms ribbon-like leaves and is well placed in borders and 'en masse' for a striking visual display. Probably one of the the most cultivated flowers - frequently found in all types of gardens - in South Africa, it may be evergreen or deciduous, depending on where it's grown. This plant is considered fairly hardy and waterwise (drought resistant) with a thick rhizome to carry it through droughts. Known also as African Lily, Common Agapanthus or Blue Lily, Agapanthus praecox is easy to grow, but must get at least a small amount of water in summer to thrive. The long stems give rise to blue or white balls of flowers, which are often used as cut flowers. It prefers full sun, but with less light it will likely produce fewer flowers, especially in more shady areas. It needs a sheltered position - away from cold winds and rain - to thrive.

Common problems with Common Agapanthus

How to harvest Common Agapanthus

Harvest seeds after flowering (when the capsules have dried out). Cut flower stalks during flowering for a beautiful display in a vase.

How to propagate Common Agapanthus

Division

The best time to lift and divide agapanthus is Autumn after they have finished flowering. Evergreen varieties should be divided once every four years to continue producing good flowers.

Rhizomes

Divide the tuberous rhizomes in winter when the plant is dormant.

Seed

Seeds must be sown fresh in the autumn, or if you are in an area where you receive below freezing temperatures, keep the seeds cool in the fridge and sow in the spring.

Special features of Common Agapanthus

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Attracts birds

Attracts insect eating birds and nectar-loving birds.

Attracts useful insects

Attract insects including bees and butterflies.

Drought resistant

This species can withstand drought periods, as it fleshy rhizomes store water reserves.

Pot plant

Popular outdoor pot plant.

Other uses of Common Agapanthus

Grown for their ornamental flowers and seedheads. Often used for cutting. Mixed borders, containers, massed plantings, gravel plantings.

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