How to Divide Agapanthus


Agapanthus, (Agapanthus orientalis) is a versatile plant that does well in a mass planting, as a focal point in the flower bed, or planted in a container. Also known as Lily of the Nile or African lily, agapanthus is a striking plant with white, blue or pink blooms atop sturdy stems and thick, attractive leaves. Agapanthus grows from fleshy bulb-like rhizomes, and will benefit from division every four to five years. Plant the agapanthus divisions in a sunny area in your garden, or share the plants with friends.

Step 1

Divide agapanthus in August or September when the plant has finished blooming and the foliage has begun to wilt. Dig the agapanthus with a spade or a garden fork. If the clump is large, cut the roots with the spade or garden fork and dig the plant in sections of smaller clumps.

Step 2

Divide the agapanthus in small clumps, each with a healthy root system. A good starting size is a clump that would approximately fit in a 1-gallon coffee can. Separate the roots with your hands or with a sharp knife. Keep the best sections for replanting, and discard any woody, withered or non-productive sections.

Step 3

Dig a hole in a sunny area in your garden for each divided agapanthus clump. The hole should be as deep as the height of the rhizome but at least twice as wide.

Step 4

Spread the roots of the agapanthus, and plant the clump the same soil depth as it was previously. Water the agapanthus thoroughly, and keep the soil moist for the first few weeks, until the plant is established in its new location.

Step 5

Plant container-grown agapanthus in a 12-inch pot filled with commercial potting mixture. Check the soil daily, as container grown agapanthus will dry out quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade or garden fork
  • Sharp knife
  • 12-inch pot with drainage hole
  • Commercial potting mixture


  • Agapanthus praecox
  • University of Wisconsin: Agapanthus
  • University of Florida: Agapanthus orientalis
Keywords: agapanthus, divide agapanthus, african lily, lily of the nile

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.