How to Plant Agapanthus

Written by cat mccabe
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How to Plant Agapanthus
Tall, blue agapanthus needs very little care (agapanthus image by Karin Lau from

Agapanthus, also called lily of the Nile, is native to Africa, but can be grown almost anywhere. They can grow to a height of 60 inches, with large clusters of small blossoms in pink, blue or white. Agapanthus sprouts from a rhizome, or root that can be dug and saved for replanting, year after year. Plant them in the proper light, soil and temperature conditions, and they will grow quickly, attracting hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Shovel or spade
  • Peat
  • Sand
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Select healthy, firm agapanthus rhizomes that show no signs of rot, fungus or insect damage.

  2. 2

    Choose a site in your garden that receives full sun for the morning hours. Cultivate the area with a shovel or spade to a depth of at least 8 inches, and wide enough to space rhizomes 8 inches apart. If your soil is clay-based, amend with equal parts peat and sand for a deep, rich mix.

  3. 3

    Plant agapanthus rhizomes under 1 inch of soil, 8 inches apart. Press the soil down gently with your fingers to close air spaces around the rhizome. Plant in groups of three or more. Water generously after planting.

  4. 4

    Follow the same procedure to plant agapanthus in large containers if you live in a climate where frost can occur. Agapanthus can also be dug up in the fall and replanted the following spring.

Tips and warnings

  • Plant agapanthus in masses to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Don't overwater agapanthus rhizomes or bury them too deeply, or it may cause them to rot.

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