The Q&A Archives: Agapanthus Care

Question: Is an agapanthus a bulb or a tuber and will it lose its foliage indoors in winter and still remain dormant and come out in spring?

Answer: Agapanthus (Lily-of-the-Nile) is a rhizome grown in the ground as an evergreen perennial in warmer areas. In colder areas where it must be grown as a container plant, it can be set outside for the summer and brought in for the winter. In terms of general container care, the plants prefer a rich but well-drained soil mix and moderate to bright light indoors. During the winter when growth is slow they should be watered lightly -- just enough to keep the soil from going dry and grown on the cool side. Ideally, they appreciate cooler temperatures at night say 50 to 55 degrees and cool days of perhaps 65 degrees. During the summer, however, the plants need copious amounts of water and seem to do best when somewhat pot-bound. In my experience the plant will "rest" after flowering but not defoliate. Unfortunatley based on your description it is impossible to diagnose the problem precisely, but I suspect a possible cause might be a combination of watering routine and temperature. If the rhizome appears to be sound, you might try some adjustments and see if it recovers over time. Good luck with your agapanthus!

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