I fell in love with the Agapanthus after visiting my Dad some years ago following his move to Guernsey. It was a new plant to me and I thought it only grew in milder climates. It was exciting a few years later to see it in profusion at the Chelsea Flower Show and I was spurred on to growing them in my own garden. I started with two plants, a deciduous blue in the flower bed and a white evergreen in a pot. They generally take 2 to 3 years to take off and the last few years they have done me proud. This year the blue Agapanthus has started to flower in abundance and is full of buds on the verge of exploding into fabulous showy flowers.
Both deciduous and evergreen varieties thrive in any well-drained, sunny position in the garden and in containers. All Agapanthus are drought tolerant and a good choice for coastal areas, coping well with wind and salty air. Ranging from fully hardy to half hardy, the evergreen varieties generally the most tender and the deciduous, which come from colder regions, are generally the more hardier plant.
The white evergreen Agapanthus is in a large pot on the patio and I wrap it in fleece through the winter. Sadly it has no flowers this year and that is probably because it is totally pot bound. Whilst they like their roots constricted they don’t flower if their roots are congested so at the end of the Summer I will split it into new plants.
Agapanthus are easy to propagate, divided between spring and early summer, or in early autumn, after plants have finished flowering. It is best to avoid splitting plants too often as this will reduce flowering and large clumps should only be split every four to six years.
Agapanthus thrives in fertile, well-drained, but moisture-retentive soil in full sun. Plant crowns in spring, 5cm (2in) below the ground and avoid planting in shade, as plants will either grow poorly or develop a mass of lush foliage at the expense of flowers.
For the best flower displays, feed weekly or fortnightly with a balanced liquid feed during the growing season until flowers begin to show colour. Water Agapanthus plants regularly during the growing season, but only sparingly in winter.
It will not be long before the flower bed has a wonderful display of Agapanthus in full bloom and I can’t wait to take more photos of this striking architectural plant.
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