Growing Agapanthus africanus – Blue African Lily
Blue African Lilies are not considered to be hardy, but thrive on the Oregon coast where temperatures are mild and USDA hardiness zones 9, 10, and 11. In areas that receive very light frost, plant bulbs deeper in the soil and cover well with mulch in the fall. In areas prone to more severe frost, grow in pots and winter indoors in a frost-protected area such as a shed.
Propagation is achieved by division of the bulbs (early spring) or by seed (early spring/late winter). Germination can take one to three months and plants started from seed are unlikely to bloom the first year or two.
Choose a sheltered sunny spot for your agapanthus with light well-draining soil. When growing in pots, plant the tuberous roots just below the soil surface and repot in spring if growth becomes crowded. Increased uniform watering is called for in spring and summer, while allowing the soil to be more dry is appropriate through the cooler seasons.
Fertilize freely through the blooming season (spring and summer).
Blue agapanthus reaches a height of 3 to 4 feet tall and grows in clumps. It makes for an especially breath-taking addition to a garden as a background plant. If growing in a small area, choose semi-dwarf variations such as blue ‘Peter Pan’ agapanthus.
Synonyms for Agapanthus africanus include Agapanthus umbellatus, Lily of the Nile, and Blue African Lily.