Agapanthus grows wild and in gardens in its native South Africa. The plant's tall stalks hold up globe-shaped flower clusters in vibrant purple, lavender or blue. Also called Queen of the Nile and African lily, agapanthus will grow outdoors in the warmest parts of Florida, California and Texas, and indoors just about anywhere else. It's a bit easier and faster to propagate this lily through root division, but with a little patience you can also grow it from seed.
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Things you need
- Agapanthus seed
- Seedling flats
- Potting soil
Sow agapanthus seeds as soon as they are ripe, because they will only remain viable for a short time. Seed heads will become dry and brittle and easily break open, spilling three to 10 seeds per flower. Collect the seeds or buy them, if you don't have existing plants.
Sow seeds outdoors directly into the garden when nighttime temperatures are above 7.22 degrees Celsius, scattering them onto the soil. Sprinkle just enough soil on top to barely cover the seeds. Moisten with water; they will germinate in 14 to 30 days.
Sow seeds indoors into flats filled with potting soil, scattering them and covering them the same way you would in the garden. Place the flats in a warm, sunny spot.
Thin the seedlings when they appear, to save the healthiest and strongest. Move indoor agapanthus outside from late May to early September, and locate them where they get full morning sun and some shelter during hot afternoons for best results. Water when the soil is dry to the touch, but don't allow soil to become waterlogged.
Tips and warnings
- Agapanthus is a wonderful cut flower for arrangements. Clip them when a third of the flowers are open, and they should last in fresh water for five or six days.
- Avoid contact with the sap from agapanthus leaves, which can cause skin irritation.
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