There are up to ten species of Agapanthus, and hundreds of different hybrids and cultivars. All of the species are originally from South Africa. We grow a selection of different Agapanthus that we believe have characteristics that are sought after by Australian gardeners.
Our collection includes the regular tall blue (purple) and white flowering varieties, as well as pink (Roseus), variegated (Tinkerbell), dwarf blue (Peter Pan), dwarf double white (Snowball) and some mid-sized plants as well. We even have an Agapanthus that is quite at home in the shade (Storms River).
Agapanthus are not fussy about soil. Ideally they’d like well drained, slightly moist, soil that is packed with nutrients. Most people keep them in poor soil, subject them to drought and heat waves and they still perform reasonably well. They do have succulent roots, making them better able to withstand drought. They can be grown in pots in any good potting mix. Do not stand pots in water, as succulent roots are prone to rotting.
Water and nutrition
In the garden Agapanthus generally don’t need added chemical fertilisers, although they will benefit from some compost, manure or other organic fertilisers from time to time. Potted Agapanthus should be given fertilizer as potting mixes quickly run out of nutrients. Most general purpose organic or chemical controlled release fertilisers are fine.
Whilst they are drought tolerant, they prefer to have plenty of water over the summer growing months and to be kept drier over winter.
Agapanthus can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but the evergreen varieties should be protected from heavy frost as it will damage the leaves. They do need sun to flower well, but a position where they get sun for part of the day and then periods of shade is fine. Storms River appears to perform better in shade than many of the other varieties.
Depending on the variety, Agapanthus can grow anywhere from 20cm to over 1m. All varieties benefit from being divided about every 4 years. Flowering for that year may be affected, but in the longer term you will get better flowers.
Pests and diseases
Agapanthus tend to be disease and pest free. They can be troubled by mealy bug (tiny white fluffy looking creatures) which can be removed by hand or sprayed with an insecticide like confidor. Snails may also hide under and nibble the leaves. Some fungal diseases can trouble them, particularly if they are too damp. Removing decaying leaves and spraying with a systemic fungicide may help.