Care and Maintenance of the Agapanthus Flower
The agapanthus flower is also known as the Lily of the Nile, even though its true home is much farther south than Egypt. In fact, the Lily of the Nile calls South Africa home and it is a beautiful blooming flower in the wild there. The agapanthus’ long double-rowed stems strike up and out from the root of the plant, in orderly lines like schoolchildren awaiting their teacher. The six-leaved flowers open up to reveal the single striped teardrops that center each petal.
This striking beauty is making the agapanthus flower an increasingly popular choice for gardens. So how to do you plant one of these beauties of the southern hemisphere in your own garden?
Choosing an Agapanthus Plant
The agapanthus flowers in the summer, so the best time to choose one is the final days of spring, when the plant is just beginning its new growths. If the nursery has done its job properly, you should be able to see the new stocks rising. A healthy agapanthus will have little discoloration and a robust feel to it. If you see some stalks wilting, this is a bad sign and may signal a bad batch. Try another nursery.
Choosing the Right Spot
The key to having a happy, flowering agapanthus flower is planting it in the right spot. You want a place in your garden that gets lots and lots of sun, as the Lily of the Nile just loves to bask in the daylight. Despite this love of direct sunlight, the agapanthus is a relatively fragile flower, so find it a wall that faces south or a spot that doesn’t get too much wind.
Make sure that water doesn’t pool in this area of the garden as this can weaken the health of you agapanthus.
If you have bought already grown plants (your best bet if you want to maximize your chance of growing your agapanthus), you will want to make sure that you completely cover up their roots in the same way they were in the container from which you transplanted them. A little touch of fertilizer can help things along in this process as well, offering a bit of extra nutrition to your agapanthus during this difficult transition—but don’t overdo it as you can overdose your plant on the fertilizer and lead to the opposite result than what you would prefer.
Planting your Agapanthus
Your agapanthus flower also loves to have a bit of elbowroom, so when you plant it, be sure to space the rows so that it is a good ten to twelve inches away from its neighbors. This will give it the room to spread out as it grows.
Caring for your Agapanthus
Most of the work in taking care of the agapanthus takes place in the spring and summer during its growing season. To begin with, you want to help your agapanthus to concentrate its energies by trimming off the dead stems. This will allow your agapanthus to put its energies into new growths. To help it along, a touch of fertilizer is a good idea at the beginning of the spring. Two to three inches of compost should follow this application shortly afterwards.
If you haven’t done so already or if it has deteriorated, you might also mulch the area around your agapanthus—although you want to be careful not to blanket the agapanthus itself.
Finally, during the summer you want to drench the soil of your agapanthus thoroughly about once a week. This will it give the moisture it needs until the rainy season returns.
Follow these directions and you are sure to have happy and healthy Lilies of the Nile in your garden for summers to come.