AGAPANTHUS (Lily-of-the-Nile) Liliaceae S. Species
HABITAT: Native to South Africa. Zone 10 except A. campanulatus (A. umbellatus var. mooreanas) is hardy zone 5.
USES: Tubs, houseplants, cut flowers, garden beds (mild climates).
HABIT: Tender lily relatives grow from fleshy, tuberous root stocks which send up mounds of strap-like leaves surrounding leafless, 12-36 inch flower stalks, bearing clusters of 1-4 inch blue, pink or white, trumpet-shaped flowers throughout the summer.
SPECIES: A. africanus (A. umbellatus) evergreen. Violet-blue. 20 inches. June-October. Northeast Africa.
A. campanulatus (A. umbellatus var. mooreanas) deciduous. Sky blue. 18-inch. July-October. Northeast Africa.
A. caulescens. Violet-blue. 24 inches. 4 foot. July-November. Asia Minor, Northeast Africa.
A. longispathus. Deciduous violet blue. 2-1/2 ft. June-October.
A. orientalis. Blue. 3 foot. June-November. West Asia Minor.
A. orentalis var.: albos, white; pollidus, pale blue: leicht-linii, deep blue; giganteus, huge blue; aurivittatus, yellow striped leaves; variegatus, white/green banded foliage; florepleno, double blue.
A. pendulus. Deep purple-blue. Drooping. 2-1/2 foot. June-November. Northeast Africa.
SEED GERMINATION: Sow seed indoors in shallow rows of moistened Park's Grow Mix. Cover lightly and keep constantly moist but not wet. Maintain a temperature of 75 degrees within the soil medium during germination which takes 3-5 weeks. Germination favored under artificial fluorescent grow lights. Transplant when large enough to handle to individual peat pots; shift to the garden or larger containers when roots emerge from pot walls. Seed may also be sown directly to peat pots or pellets. Flowering will occur 3-5 years from seed.
CULTURE: Set out in garden in mild, coastal climates or in large containers. Provide plants with adequate soil volume for the vigorous root system and with excellent drainage. Give A. campanulatus winter protection in zones 7-8. Grow in full sun or very light shade and space 24 inches apart in garden and set plants so that tops of roots are just below soil surface. Feed plants spring and summer with general garden fertilizer and every four weeks during growing season. Withhold fertilizer the balance of the year. Keep well watered during the growing season. Blooming occurs when plant's roots are crowded. Disturb as little as possible but division of roots of evergreen species in spring and deciduous species in the fall is recommended.
INSECTS: Slugs, Snails: Use an approved insecticide, such as Metaldehyde bait, for control.
Mealy Bugs, Scale, Thrip: Use an approved insecticide, such as Malathion, for control.
DISEASES: Not generally a problem.
PROPAGATION: Division, seed.