The Q&A Archives: African Lily

Question: I have rooted in water what someone told me was an African lily. I don't know if that's the right name for it. It blooms a purple tubular flower the leaves are long and pointed. My question is: where do I go from here? Do I pot the thing up or put it in the ground for the winter? I am afraid I will kill it if I put it in the ground now.

Answer: Agapanthus africanus, or African Lily, grows to 3' high and plants should be spaced 12 inches apart in the garden.

African Lily is grown from thick rhizomes. The plant can be grown as either a house plant or outdoors, and is often planted in large containers. As a house plant, provide medium light exposure and well-drained soil. Keep the soil uniformly moist in summer but slightly dry in winter. Use an equal analysis fertilizer (such as 16-16-16)according to label
directions. Temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees at night and
65 to 70 degrees during the day are ideal. Day
temperatures higher than 70 degrees may cause slow growth.
African Lily grows best when potbound. Flowering is not
dependent on a particular day length. The plant rests
after flowering and may be grown outdoors in sun or light
shade during the summer.

I think I'd pot the rooted plant up and keep it indoors during the winter months. Use any good potting soil and make sure the container has good drainage. If you decide to take it outdoors and plant it in the garden, the soil should be warm enough in the spring or summer months.

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