Agapanthus in full bloom are a sign that summer is not far away. Their beautiful colours and shiny green leaves look spectacular in borders and will often be seen along fence-lines, garden beds and bordering drive-ways.
They come in a range of colours including the most commonly seen; purple and a range of pinks and white. They are also available in a range of sizes which you need to take into account when selecting the variety that is most suited to your needs.
How to Plant and Grow Agapanthus
You do need to ensure that you give your agapanthus space. They will form clumps that can be up to a metre across, and you will need to ensure that you thin them out from time to time - if you don't, flowering can be impeded. For the best growing results, follow these planting and growing tips:
- They transplant well. So when you thin agapanthus out, use the plants to create new gardens, or share them with friends.
- Plant agapanthus about 50cm - 60cm apart and about 2.5cm deep. Don't be tempted to crowd them; you will be rewarded for this over the next few years.
- Early spring is the best time to plant - this enables them to provide you with a beautiful showing of flowers in summer.
- If you live in a cool climate; a full sun position is best. In hotter climates, position them in semi-shade.
- The soil needs to be well-drained with plenty of organic matter dug throughout. You will probably not need to fertilise, but if you do, only fertilise lightly.
Looking After Your Agapanthus
Agapanthus are very "hardy"plants, but following these tips will help:
- When newly planted, water regularly and fertilise occasionally (not too much) with seaweed liquid fertiliser. A treatment with Sulphate of Potash mid Spring will help reward you with beautiful flowers a little later.
- After the first flowering, water much less - depending on your climate, you may even not need to water them at all.
- Agapanthus spreading can be a real environmental problem, so prune any spent flower heads. Doing this will also look much better as well.
- Agapanthus rarely affected by pests, but as a part of normal garden maintenance, check them regularly and treat pests/diseases when necessary.
- Divide root clumps every two to three years in early spring, after the plants have flowered.
Agapanthus as Weeds
In some areas, agapanthus are considered noxious weeds. The reason for this is because their seeds spread very easily and invade areas where they are not wanted. They can then be very difficult to remove. Therefore, it is very important that spent flowers are removed and not allowed to form seeds.
I am an educator and passionate gardener and traveler. Throughout my adult life, gardening has been my passion, therapy, drive and source of purpose. Even as a child I had an intrinsic interest in plants and a desire to understand what makes them grow.
I distinctly remember the moment this began - my family was on one of our regular road trips from Hervey Bay; Australia. We were driving past a field of sugar cane. Dad pulled the car over and we cut a couple of sugar cane stems and brought them home for a treat. To be honest, I didn’t really like the taste, but I did want to try and grow it; and that is exactly what I did. It was then that my fascination, interest and passion for gardening and understanding plants began.
Fast forward a few years and I studied biological sciences and began what would be a 36 year career as a Biology educator. From this, I don’t only love gardening, but I also love helping others learn about gardening. I am also always looking for new ways to develop my own gardening knowledge. I like to think I am truly a life-long learner.
Fundamental to my beliefs about education is that learning is often best done as a part of a community - learning from others, and helping others to learn. It is this type of community that I hope iCultivate will be for its members - a community of gardeners, keen to share their gardening knowledge and wanting to learn about new ways to garden - a community built on the love of gardening.
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