With this unusual balmy summer weather we are experiencing, this weeks ‘Plant of the Week’ is well suited to drought conditions. The architectural Agapanthus (African Blue lily) is a clump forming perennial with its strap shaped leaves and stout stems bearing blue and more rarely white trumpet shaped flowers.
We currently have two gorgeous varieties available.
Agapanthus ‘streamline’ A very good repeat flowering variety being compact makes it well suited to smaller gardens. Light blue flowers will repeat throughout the year. Foliage height & width to 30cm.
Agapanthus ‘Blue Storm’ makes claim that it flowers for 70 days (two to three weeks longer than usual) with a mature plant (four years old) producing up to a hundred stems of 100mm (4in) diameter blooms. At just over 75cm (30in) high, it is fairly compact. It is an evergreen variety and according to Anthony Tesselaar, who bred it in Australia, most agapanthus produce flowers just once a year, but ‘Blue Storm’ produces subsequent light flushes in autumn and sometimes even in winter.
In terms of success in how to grow them follow these four tips and you should have Agapanthus to die for.
Plant in well-drained soil and in full sun. If planting them in pots use two parts of compost to one part of coarse sand or gravel.
Restricting them makes the plants flower sooner….however it may take two or three years for plants to establish before flowering really takes off. However, they should be split and replanted in fresh compost if the roots become too congested, otherwise flowering will suffer.
Feeding is key. High potash feeds, applied every three or four weeks in the growing season, with a general feed twice or so in the summer, will keep the flowers coming.
Mulch in autumn or cover the crown of the plant with straw or fleece to protect from cold. Even deciduous varieties can benefit from this practice. For plants in containers they should be wrapped in fleece and put in a polytunnel or greenhouse.