Agapanthus orientalis may be a plant native to South Africa, but I’m sure it’s definitely more abundant right here in Australia considering how garden owners love to use it as edging or a lovely feature plant. But its common appearance is not so strange given the fact that the cold is the only serious limiting factor to agapanthus’ growth. So, if you happen to live in Australia, you already have the climate conditions for agapanthus to thrive. But like all garden plants, agapanthus does need some extra effort as well. But how much exactly?
Originating from the driest continent on Earth, it’s no wonder that the agapanthus orientalis is designed for survival. It’s a perennial plant that grows wonderfully in full sun and can withstand a little neglect when it comes to watering. Nevertheless, it’s still prone to heat damage, especially when temperatures reach 45 degrees Celsius. Therefore, if the summer is particularly hot, watering it more regularly can prevent the plant from drying out.
Agapanthus thrives best when planted in a fertile and well-drained, but moisture-retentive soil. If your garden’s soil is very heavy, try mixing in some grit to open up its structure and help drainage. When it comes to the soil’s pH, it’s tolerant of both high an low values, so you needn’t worry about that. You can plant it as ground cover, or in a pot provided that the pot is big enough for its roots to grow. Plus, if you pick a big container you might not have to deal with repotting for another four years or so, as its roots do not grow very rapidly.
Although agapanthus does not depend on fertilizing to thrive, when it receives some additional nutrients it tends to repay you with a flood of blue or white flowers. If you consider fertilization, make sure to do it in early spring and use a granular fertilizer with a ratio such as 6-12-6 or 5-10-5. And always water the ground thoroughly after fertilization, as undiluted fertilizers can be very harsh on the roots and kill the plants. Similarly, keep any fertiliser away from the foliage as it might scorch it badly.
And don’t worry if your plant does not take off right away. Sometimes it can take two or three years before an agapanthus orientalis starts flowering. But after this period, it will grow into gorgeous long-flowering clumps from October to December which makes its flowers perfect for some Christmas decoration around the home.