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A picture of a Stem Agapanthus

Stem Agapanthus

Agapanthus caulescens

Also known as

African Lily, Stalked African Lily

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

H4-H2

RHS hardiness

-10°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1.5m

Max

50cm

1m

Min

10cm

2 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Stem Agapanthus

White form of Agapanthus caulescens subsp.caulescens
Agapanthus caulescens subsp. angustifolius
Agapanthus caulescens subsp. gracilis (formerly A. nutans)
Agapanthus caulescens subsp.augustifolius at Kirstenbosch

Stem Agapanthus Overview

Agapanthus caulescens is a deciduous plant from the Amaryllidaceae family. It is reasonably hardy and typically grown for the attractive flowers. This plant forms short green leaves measuring between 25-60cm long. These give rise to a blue-violet ball of flowers on a long stem, around 60-180cm in height. Flowers are flared outwards, paler towards the base and have dark midribs. The leaves are strap-shaped and due to their short stature, this species has a leek-like look when not flowering. It's very similar in appearance to Common Agapanthus, Agapanthus praecox. This African Lily is more free-flowering than many Agapanthus species, producing a variable number of blooms per flowerhead.

Common problems with Stem Agapanthus

The main pest to this species is the snout beetle. One method to rid of the pests is to water plant with a systemic insecticide which is absorbed into the plant and this should stop the attacks. Snails can be picked off by hand.

How to harvest Stem Agapanthus

Seeds must be harvested in autumn when the seed pods have dried out. Flower stalks can be cut for flower arrangements during summer months.

How to propagate Stem Agapanthus

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 and sow in the spring.

Division

Divide the tuberous rhizomes in winter when the plant is dormant or in early spring. Deciduous varieties should be divided every six years.

Rhizomes

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

Special features of Stem Agapanthus

Attracts useful insects

Attract insects like bees and butterflies.

Attracts birds

Attract nectar eating birds like sunbirds.

Drought resistant

This species can withstand drought periods, as it becomes dormant in the summer months. However can be shy to flower if subjected to drought conditions.

Pot plant

Grows very well in large pots.

Attracts butterflies

Attracts bees

Other uses of Stem Agapanthus

Massed plantings, borders, containers.

Medicinal

Some Xhosa tribes to this day use the sap from the leave and tubers to induce labour and to cure chest problems.