This robust member of the Lily family is a revered and pampered perennial in the Northern Hemisphere but here in N.Z. it generally does not get the respect it deserves. In some parts of the country it is considered a nuisance plant and is frequently sprayed with weed-killer! This is mainly because the Agapanthus has a free seeding habit and tends to colonize where it is not wanted, especially in coastal regions. Free-seeding can be easily controlled with timely dead-heading. However if you don't want to bother with that the good news is that there is now a new generation of Agapanthus hybrids that are either sterile or low fertility that can be planted and enjoyed 'guilt free'.
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The name Agapanthus comes from the Greek Agape which means love and Anthos which means flower. Agapanthuses originate from Southern Africa. They are a clump forming rhizomatous perennial with fleshy roots and strap like green foliage. The flowers come in tones of blue or white and are borne in abundance on erect stems during summer. They can be very tall or very small. As a general rule the more miniature forms with narrow foliage are hardier than the larger wider leaf forms. Some are fully deciduous and others are evergreen. All are easy to grow and very tolerant of less than ideal conditions, just look at the mass plantings done along motorway strips etc. What other perennial do you know that would grow so well in such adverse conditions? They are beautiful and long lasting in a vase. So take another look at the Lily of Nile and if you have a difficult site where nothing else will grow this African Beauty will probably be very happy to set up home there.
A dwarf Agapanthus white fresh green strappy foliage topped off with gorgeous white flowers for months on end. The flowers are eco-friendly in that they are virtually sterile, i.e. seedless. For maximum impact plant in large drifts. Evergreen.
Colour: White Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 50cm
This dwarf variety developed in NZ is highly valued as it does not easily set seed. With a generous flowering habit and rounded flower heads that are shaded an intense blue it is a worthy garden plant. Easy to grow. Happiest in sun but will tolerate part shade. Perennial. PVRHOM162
Colour: Blue Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x spreadscm
This NZ bred Agapanthus is dwarf in habit. The strap shaped green foliage will form a neat clump. In summer stems of silvery white flowers edged with ice blue put on a lovely display. Hardy and tolerant and easy to grow. Good for mass planting. Can cope with dry coastal conditions. Perennial.
Colour: White / Blue Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 60cm
This darling little Agapanthus has wide, short, strappy green leaves and sturdy stems of white 'snowball' flowers that appear throughout the summer. Well behaved in that it does not seed everywhere and forms a nice compact clump. Happy in the sun. Hardy, perennial.
Colour: White Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40 x 0.6cm
A fabulous dwarf Agapanthus that is well behaved and tidy. Strap like green leaves form a neat clump and from mid spring onwards multiple stems of mid blue flowers appear continuously for months. So easy to grow. Lovely to pick. Evergreen.
Colour: Blue Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 50cm
Here's something a little different - a variegated Agapanthus. Striking foliage in shades of cream and green combines well with very pretty sky blue flowers that appear in summer. A sterile form that will not seed "willy nily". Forms a compact clump, looks great planted in groups of 3 or more. Perennial.
Colour: Blue Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 15cm x 60cm