How to Grow an Agapanthus


Agapanthus are also referred to as African lily and Lily-of-the-Nile. They are evergreen, and deciduous flowering plants which are indigenous to South Africa. The trumpet-shaped flowers of agapanthus bloom in globe-shaped clusters that sit upon long, sturdy, leafless stems and come in white or bright blue in color.

How to Plant Agapanthus

Step 1

Fill up pots with a good quality potting mix. Water each until the soil is saturated. Press the soil down until it's lightly packed.

Step 2

Place five to six agapanthus seeds onto the surface of the soil, press them down firmly. Cover with no more than 1/16 inch of the potting mix. Mist the soil until it is damp.

Step 3

Put the pots into plastic bags, this helps to retain moisture and warmth. Place the bags where the temperature is 60 to 65 F, and where there is 8 to 10 hours of light daily.

Step 4

Check on the seeds daily. Seeds germinate in three to eight weeks. After the seeds sprout, remove the plastic bags, but maintain the level of light and warmth. Seedlings are ready to transplant when they are 3 to 4 inches tall.

Transplanting Agapanthus

Step 1

Choose a site that will provide your agapanthus with full sun, or light shade and a loamy soil.

Step 2

Dig holes twice the depth and width of the planting receptacle. Space holes at 2 to 2 1/2 feet apart for the larger varieties or 1 to 1 ½ feet for smaller varieties.

Step 3

Fill up each hole with water, allow to drain. Strike the rim of the pot with your trowel to remove the pot. Slide off the pot and set aside.

Step 4

Fill one-third of the hole with dirt. Set the the agapanthus into the hole. Remove, or add, more soil if needed to ensure the rootball is sitting firmly in the soil. Fill up the entire hole with soil, and water each agapanthus. To protect agapanthus over winter, The Royal Horticultural Society recommends placing 6 to 9 inches of either sand or straw around agapanthus in early winter or autumn.

Step 5

Fertilize the plants weekly or biweekly to ensure plentiful blooms. Apply a balanced liquid nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10. Follow manufacturer's directions when mixing and applying fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Agapanthus seeds or established plant
  • Trowel
  • Potting mix
  • Plant mister, or garden sprayer
  • Clear plastic bags
  • Shovel
  • Fertilizer


  • Botanus: Agapanthus: Did You Know?
  • Royal Horticultural Society: Agapanthus
Keywords: agapanthus, growing agapanthus, African lily, growing African lily