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How to Plant Agapanthus

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Agapanthus is a perennial that is more commonly called Lily of the Nile, African Lily and African Blue Lily. The flowers bloom in big round clusters of violet-blue, white or blue at the end of a 2- to 4-foot tall stem. Each flower has up to 100 tiny tubular florets. They are framed by deep-green leaves. Lily of the Nile blooms between mid-summer to early fall and grows to be 24 inches tall.

Plant agapanthus in soil that is well-drained. Standing water can damage the plants. The soil should be moderately fertile. If the soil is too rich, the plant will have soft, lush growth that can be damaged in cold weather.

Make sure the planting bed is in the full sun that is protected, such as up against a south-facing wall. If this isn't possible, agapanthus needs sun for at least a half-day. People who live in hot climates can plant agapanthus in partial shade.

Dig holes with the trowel that are large enough to fit the entire rootball, if you're working with plants. This depth will vary, depending on the size of the plant. If planting agapanthus rhizomes, dig holes that are 1 inch deep.

Space rhizomes 24 inches apart and plants 6 to 9 inches apart. This will promote the best growth. Cover with soil and pack it down.

Water the plants regularly during the growing season to promote a deep and extensive root system. If the top 3 inches of the soil is dry, add water. Watering will likely be needed every two to three days, depending on your climate.


Things You Will Need

  • Trowel
  • Plants or rhizomes
  • Soil
  • Water


  • Remove old agapanthus foliage before new leaves sprout to improve the appearance.
  • Divide clumps every other year in early spring.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.