Agapanthus is one of the most popular ornamental plants in the world. It’s popularity stems from its striking beauty and versatility. Agapanthus has been used for centuries as a decorative plant, but it was also used as a medicine. Agapanthus is native to Europe and Asia, where it grows wild along with other species such as chrysanthemums and roses.
How To Plant Agapanthus
Planting agapanthus requires patience and attention to detail. The plant needs a warm, moist environment during the growing season. You’ll need to provide plenty of light throughout the year so your plant will grow well. Also, make sure there are no insects or rodents near your garden!
If you’re looking for an easy way to start cultivating agapanthus, try our guide on how to grow agapanthus indoors.
When choosing a location for your new agapanthus, consider the following:
Location – Where do you want to place your new agapanthus?
A sunny spot in full sun would be ideal. But if you live in a cooler climate, then you might prefer to put them under some shade cloth or even mulch.
Location – What kind of soil does your site have? Do they like clay or sandy soils? Do they thrive on acidic or alkaline soils?
You can perform a soil test to see if your site is suitable for agapanthus. You’ll need to amend the soil if it doesn’t have the right pH balance before you grow your new agapanthus plants in it.
You should never plant your agapanthus too deep. When you’re planting your agapanthus, the bud (which resembles a bulb) of the plant should be roughly at soil level.
How To Care For Agapanthus
Caring for your agapanthus isn’t too difficult. Follow these tips and learn how to care for agapanthus plants:
Agapanthus are relatively low-maintenance plants. They are drought tolerant, but they also thrive in moist soils. Water your agapanthus regularly during the first growing season so the plant can establish a good root system. Never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Water your agapanthus slightly less during the winter.
Agapanthus plants like full sun for at least half of the day. If you live in an area that gets extremely hot, consider planting your agapanthus in a spot that receives some afternoon shade during the summer.
Many agapanthus cultivars are not self-fertile, meaning they must be cross-pollinated by another plant within the same species. These plants sometimes require hand-pollination.
Many agapanthus cultivars are prone to diseases, which can harm their ability to flower. Make sure you purchase disease-free plants for the healthiest plants and best blooms.
Agapanthus attracts a wide variety of pollinators. In fact, some varieties of agapanthus are so attractive to bees and other insects that you may need to provide them with extra protection from predators such as birds and lizards.
Diseases And Pests
Agapanthus are susceptible to many different plant diseases. Listed here are some of the most common:
Bacterial Soft Rot – Bacterial soft rot is a severe bacterial disease that can cause the collapse of infected plants. This disease is often caused by poor soil conditions and improper watering. If you think you have bacterial soft rot, cut off the diseased parts and dispose of them immediately. If the problem persists, remove and dispose of the entire plant.
Damping Off – Damping off is a fungal disease that infects seedlings as they start to sprout from the soil. This disease is difficult to treat once it appears, so make sure you only buy disease-free seeds and seedlings. Also, sterilize your gardening tools before and after you use them to prevent the spread of damping off.
Powdery Mildew – Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects some agapanthus varieties. Leaves with powdery mildew will appear white and chalky. This fungal disease thrives in hot, humid conditions with low air flow. You can prevent powdery mildew from infecting your plants by limiting their time in the sun and making sure the air can flow freely around them.
Agapanthus are also prone to insect and animal pests such as snails, slugs, aphids and caterpillars. These pests can damage or destroy your agapanthus plants. If you notice any of these pests, take steps to eliminate them immediately.
Leafhoppers – Leafhoppers are small, wedge-shaped insects that suck the sap from agapanthus leaves. They cause the leaves to wither and can even spread viruses that infect the plant.
Aphids – Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that suck the sap from agapanthus plants. They can spread harmful diseases such as yellow plague and will cause the leaves to wither and change color.
Caterpillars – Agapanthus are susceptible to attack from caterpillars, which chew holes in leaves and stems.
Sources & references used in this article:
Role of cytosolic free calcium in the reorientation of pollen tube growth by R Malho, ND Read, MS Pais, AJ Trewavas – The Plant Journal, 1994 – Wiley Online Library
Genetic stability of in vitro propagated African blue lily (Agapanthus praecox ssp. minimus) by JS Yaacob, R Mat Taha – Caryologia, 2014 – Taylor & Francis
Inducement of fruit development by growth-promoting chemicals by FG Gustafson – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences …, 1936 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Fusarium agapanthi sp. nov., a novel bikaverin and fusarubin-producing leaf and stem spot pathogen of Agapanthus praecox (African lily) from Australia and Italy by J Edwards, D Auer, SK de Alwis, B Summerell, T Aoki… – Mycologia, 2016 – Taylor & Francis
ROS-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis-like event directly affect the cell viability of cryopreserved embryogenic callus in Agapanthus praecox by D Zhang, L Ren, G Chen, J Zhang, BM Reed, X Shen – Plant cell reports, 2015 – Springer
Growing pollen tubes possess a constitutive alkaline band in the clear zone and a growth-dependent acidic tip by O Sharaibi, A Afolayan – Willd. J. Complement Med Altern Heathcare, 2018