PlantsAgapanthus→Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Lily of the Nile
Give a thumbs up African Lily
Give a thumbs up Cape Lily
Give a thumbs up African Blue Lily

Botanical names:
Agapanthus africanus Accepted
Agapanthus umbellatus Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7a -17.8 °C (0 °F) to -15 °C (5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 36 inches
Plant Spread: 24 - 36 inches
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: Glossy, straplike, linear, more or less upright.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Inflorescence Height: up to 4 feet
Foliage Mound Height: 3 feet
Underground structures: Rhizome
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Needs specific temperature: moderately warm
Days to germinate: 6 to 8 weeks
Can handle transplanting
Other info: sow seed soon after ripe
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Other: rhizomes
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Prefers to be under-potted
Miscellaneous: Goes Dormant

Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus)

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Posted by jathton (Oklahoma City, OK - Zone 7a) on Jun 7, 2020 2:07 PM

It was early summer, 1986, and I was visiting the Bay area for the first time. I pulled off of I-80 onto University Boulevard in Berkeley and headed east toward Shattuck Avenue. I was very tired from driving all day... so it took a while for me to realize what I was seeing. University was a divided street with a wide median... and the entire median, stretching from I-80 to Shattuck, was planted with blooming Lilies of the Nile [Agapanthus africanus.] It was a stunning sight... and I've liked Agapanthus ever since.
It isn't a stretch to understand why Agapanthus does not show up in nurseries in central Oklahoma very often. But two years ago Lowe's had a large selection of fully foliaged and budded 1 gallon plants for a very reasonable price. I put three in a large pot because they bloom better when pot bound... fertilized them... and put them on the patio. They bloomed very respectably that first summer... enough blooms to cut a few stems for the house.
That winter I brought the pot in and placed it just inside a south-facing plate-glass window. In early February they began blooming in the living room. If memory serves they put up nine flowers that lasted longer indoors than they did outside.
I divided the large pot that spring into 3 pots. None of them bloomed last summer... or indoors last winter.
But they have filled in their pots by now... and all three are producing blooms again.
Agapanthus is just a bit quirky to grow... but not that much and well worth the effort.

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Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Oct 7, 2011 6:40 PM

Lily of the Nile/African Lily is a native of South Africa and has become a popular garden plant around the world. The plant grows from bulbs and has a short stem with long and narrow arching leaves. During the summer months clusters of flowers are borne atop 18" to 24" tall scapes. I've grown both the blue and white varieties in the garden in full sun and partial shade, and I've also had success growing them in containers.

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Posted by OldGardener (So Cal - Zone 10b) on Jul 4, 2014 8:34 PM

Some of our agapanthus grow 3 feet tall with 4 to 5 foot blooms.

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Posted by dyzzypyxxy (Sarasota, Fl) on Aug 22, 2014 8:55 PM

I've had success growing Agapanthus in a very large pot here in Florida, but every time I have tried growing it in the ground it has petered out and died. The plant also likes to be crowded, and it blooms best when it has been in the same pot for years. After I divide or repot it, it pouts and does not bloom for at least a year. So lately I have cut out any old or unhealthy growth each spring and re-filled spaces in the old pot with new potting soil washed down into the root ball with the hose. A little timed-release fertilizer after the new soil is in, and that's about all the care it takes each year. Other than rain in the summer, it gets almost no supplemental water.

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Plant Events from our members
AndreA33 On March 10, 2016 Obtained plant
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Can anyone tell me what type of plant this is? by zack2482 Jul 11, 2021 8:08 PM 7
Agapanthus Lily of the Nile by hiyall Jun 27, 2019 8:50 PM 9
What type of bushes are these? by ferne97 Mar 20, 2017 8:07 AM 5
Can anyone ID these flowers? by gardenglassgems Aug 18, 2016 9:27 PM 7
Bloom Season 2016 - Part 2 by Lestv Jan 21, 2019 9:53 PM 1,323
Plant ID by wheetie67 Apr 29, 2016 5:07 AM 31
Banner for December 13, 2015 by dave by dave Dec 13, 2015 1:54 PM 13
Agapanthus by Arico Jul 10, 2015 3:53 PM 1
Big plans for a mini garden - a tale by Arico May 31, 2017 3:05 PM 310
I'm in a perennial rut by Kabby Jan 10, 2015 1:04 PM 56

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