Agapanthus africanus
Common Name: African lily 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Native Range: South Africa
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Blue, white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen

Culture

Although this evergreen agapanthus may be planted in the ground in the warm winter climates of USDA Zones 8-10, it is best grown in tubs or containers in the St. Louis area (Zones 5b-6a) where it is not winter hardy. This is a tender perennial that grows from a fleshy-rooted rhizome. For container plants, plant rhizome 1/2" below soil surface, keep soils consistently moist and provide moderate fertilization during the growing season (spring and summer). Plants bloom best when roots are pot-bound. Site containers in locations with afternoon shade. In fall prior to the first frost, remove containers to a bright, frost-free location for overwintering. Provide very limited water in winter (just enough to keep leaves from drying/wilting). Return containers outdoors in spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Agapanthus africanus, commonly called lily-of-the-Nile, is native to South Africa (not the Nile River as the misleading common name suggests). It is an evergreen species that produces rounded clusters (umbels) of blue, funnel-shaped flowers atop stiff, upright, leafless, fleshy stalks (scapes) typically rising 18-24" tall above a dense mound of basal narrow, strap-shaped, linear, grass-like leaves. Blooms in summer. Foliage mounds are attractive when plants are not in bloom. White cultivars also available.

Genus name comes from the Greek words agape meaning love and anthos meaning flower.

Specific epithet means of Africa.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

Pots, containers. Good fresh cut flower.