The African lily (Agapanthus) is a very popular lily. By breeding more than 600 different species appeared. The African lily is a summer-flowering perennial, which is not winter-hardy in Northern Europe and is grown primarily as a pot plant. In our climate it is therefore mainly used as a tub plant. In warmer areas of England they can be planted in the ground. The Agapanthus bears flowers in beautiful shades of white and blue.
The Agapanthus is as the name implies, from South Africa. Due to its origin, the African Lily is also known as the Cape Lily. The botanical Latin name Agapanthus is derived from the Greek - the word ‘agape’ literally means love in Greek and ‘anthos’ means flower. The Agapanthus is a really beautiful flower.
The Agapanthus grows and blooms beautifully when planted in rich, well-drained, sandy soil, preferably in a sunny corner of the garden. The Agapanthus is a real sun-worshipper. There are differing ideas on how to care for Agapanthus. Some specialists believe that the plant flowers best in a pot that is a bit too small, and that it should only be repotted when the pot has almost reached bursting point. Others dismiss this as rubbish. However, all Agapanthus lovers agree that during the growing season it needs lots of water, preferably every day and a regular liquid feed.
The plant can be kept over winter, although in a pot it must be brought indoors before the first night frost and kept in a dry frost-free area. During winter it should not be fed and should only be watered sparingly. The leaves will die, after which they can be cut off. In February the plant can be repotted. It then needs feeding every other week, also after being moved outside. If it is left in the ground over winter it must be protected from severe frost.