How to get a potted agapanthus to bloom

Written by james marshall
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How to get a potted agapanthus to bloom
Agapanthus produces striking blue flowers. (Maile M Rounds/iStock/Getty Images)

Agapanthus is a genus of flowering plants with the common name lily of the Nile. This genus contains about 10 species, all of which originate from South Africa. Gardeners value agapanthus for its large clusters of flowers, which may be blue, purple or white in colour. These plants grow well in pots, although they are slow to flower. Agapanthus is generally hardy in the UK's temperate climate, meaning it can tolerate temperatures below freezing point.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Plant pot
  • Gardening soil
  • Garden trowel
  • Insecticide

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  1. 1

    Fill a medium planting pot with garden soil to grow agapanthus inside. Plant the agapanthus seeds about 2.5 cm (1 inch) deep. Water the seeds thoroughly after planting.

  2. 2

    Place the pot in full sun at a temperature of about 24 degrees C (75F) until the seeds germinate, usually within two months. Agapanthus may benefit from afternoon shade in warm conditions.

  3. 3

    Water agapanthus with 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water per week during its first growing season so it can establish its root system. Provide agapanthus with water after the first growing season only when the top 7.5 cm (3 inches) of soil is dry. The leaf tips of this plant turn yellow when it becomes waterlogged.

  4. 4

    Spray the leaves of agapanthus with an insecticide during the winter if they have red spider mites or mealy bugs. Remove the dead foliage before the plant grows new leaves in the spring. Agapanthus may require three to four years to flower after planting from seed.

  5. 5

    Divide the agapanthus plant in the spring when it outgrows its container. Remove the plant from the soil without damaging the roots and cut them into about four sections with a sharp knife. Ensure each section has an equal number of roots. Transplant the agapanthus divisions to new pots.

Tips and warnings

  • Space agapanthus seeds about 60 cm (2 feet) apart if you are planting them outside.

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