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Agapanthus praecox

Family: Agapanthaceae (Agapanthus family)

Common names: Agapanthus (E); uBani (Z); Agapant (A); isiCakathi (X);

Native to: Southern Africa
Bulb, Groundcover, Perennial
A popular and versatile groundcover with magnificent blue or white bulbous flowers on long stalks

Agapanthus praecox

EVERGREEN

FULL SUN

SEMI-SHADE

FROST HARDY

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

FAST GROWER

ATTRACTS BIRDS

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

0.5m x 0.3m

MAXIMUM SIZE:

1m x 0.5m
FLOWERING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Agapanthus praecox

DESCRIPTION

Agapanthus is a fast-growing, evergreen perennial that forms a neat clump.  The strappy, mid-green leaves arch gracefully and form a lush green groundcover.  The blue or white tubular flowers are borne in dense clusters on a long stalk up to 1.2m tall.  They are long-lasting and trouble free. Whether mass-planted, or mixed with other plants, they never cease to create a striking impact.  The spent flower heads can be left on the plant to allow it to self-seed.   As they dry, the ‘pin-cushion’ like heads become golden brown and add an artistic element to the garden. The plant will tolerate moderate frost.  The leaves will burn if affected, but will quickly recover in summer. This is a popular plant which is favoured worldwide and many hybrid varieties have been cultivated to ensure longer-lasting flowers in a variety of colours.

NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
This plant can be found in grasslands and rocky hillsides.
WILDLIFE & ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS
Attracts bees and other pollinating insects.
The insects in turn attract insectivorous birds.
The roots form a wonderful network to hold the soil on a steep bank.
WATER REQUIREMENTS
Water moderately in summer. The plant is dormant in winter so will only need watering every second week.
MAINTENANCE
Agapanthus is low maintenance and will only need to have the yellowing foliage removed on the odd occasion.
It is a self-seeding plant, so leave the spent flower stalks and the fruit will dry and split to release numerous seeds. The new plants will take 2-3 years to reach flowering age.
Mulch well and water regularly throughout the year.
Divide clumps when they become over-crowded. Do this every 4-5 years at the end of the flowering season (usually February or March).
LANDSCAPING USES
Mass plant under trees, on street verges, traffic islands or singly anywhere in the garden where a filler plant is required.
May be grown in a container on a sunny patio.
Use it to curb soil erosion on a sunny slope.
GARDEN THEMES
Country, Forest, Woodland
FLOWERS
Blue or white bulbous heads on long stalks.
FOLIAGE
Strappy green leaves
FRUIT
A green capsule that dries to a light brown and splits to release the seeds.
SEED
Flat black ovoid disks (5mm x 3mm).
PESTS & DISEASES
Agapanthus is rarely attacked by pests but you may find slugs and snails feeding on it, particularly in December. If the slugs and snails numbers are not controlled by visiting Hadedas, they can be controlled with a beer bait.
Sometimes attacked by the Amyrillis lily borer worm.
CULTIVATION
Propogate from seed. These plants will take 2-3 years to reach flowering age.
Can also be propogated from dividing existing clumps.
FURTHER READING

Joffe, Pitta, 2012, Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants, Second Edition, Britza Publications, ISBN: 978-1-875093-99-1

ONLINE REFERENCES & RESOURCES

http://pza.sanbi.org/agapanthus-praecox

4 Responses

  1. Hi Maureen

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Yes, now is a good time to dig up and replant your Agapanthus. Remember to add lots of compost to the soil when replanting.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  2. Hi Grace

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    As far as I’m aware, the Agapanthus flower is not edible.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

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