How to Grow and Care for Agapanthus



Plant Type: Bulbs, perennials
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Sun Exposure: Full sun, partial sun
Watering: Adequate moisture
Colors: Purple, white
Size: 3 ft. high, 30 in. wide
Hardiness Zones: 8-11
Soil Type: Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Propagation: By divisions
Toxicity: Minimal toxicity to animals

The Agapanthus (African Lily) sometimes called the African Lily or Lily of the Nile is a beautiful blue and purple flower. These flowers grow clump-like leaves before growing into bright flowers. Agapanthus plants are perennial blooms that are vibrant and fun. They can grow up to 4 feet when they mature. If you are looking for a great flower to add to your backyard or even inside your house, the agapanthus is for you.

Caring for the African Lily is a rather simple task. Making sure you plant them during the appropriate season is the key to keeping them happy. Placing them in the perfect spot is also ideal to produce big blooms. They like a warmer climate but can be grown in colder climates if you are able to bring them indoors during the winter months. These plants will need to be watered often during the growing season. A rich soil is recommended and fertilizing when they are flowering is a good idea. These beautiful flowers are easy to propagate. As long as you give them what they need to thrive, they will!

Are you ready to grow your own beautiful blue flowers in your garden? Follow the guide below to provide them with the ideal environment to blossom in!


About the Agapanthus

The agapanthus got the nicknames African Lily and Lily of the Nile for a reason! These plants originated in South Africa. They are members of the Amaryllidaceae flower family. These plants bloom gorgeous, large flowers on tall stocks of foliage. You will enjoy these blooms through June, July, and August. While these flowers have an exotic appearance, they are easy to grow and care for. If you provide them with the perfect growing environment, they will give you beautiful flowers for months! Whether you grow them outside or in, these blossoms will be a great addition to your home.


How to Grow The Agapanthus

You will want to plant your flowers during the spring months. Make sure you place the seeds or established plant in the ground when there is no danger of frost in the forecast. These plants cannot successfully begin to blossom during harsh winter weather. Your soil should be about 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.

Place the agapanthus rhizomes, which the plant grows from, two inches deep and about 12 inches apart from one another. They should be close enough to support each other for growth but do not overcrowd them. When you place them in the ground, make sure the rhizomes are pointing upward. The pointed end on the agapanthus rhizomes should be facing downward in the soil. Cover the rhizomes with soil and water generously. If you live in a colder climate, make sure you cover the root zone with mulch to protect them from the cold.

You can also plant these flowers in a container. If you are in a cold climate, placing them in a container is a good solution. This way you can bring them inside when the weather gets too intense for them. If you are placing them in a container to protect them from the elements, it is helpful to put them in a tub on a wheeled tray. This makes for easy transport in and out during the summer and winter months. If your flower is in a container, bringing it into a cool room with little sunlight during winter is recommended. Letting it rest is key to restarting the cycle for your plant to bloom in spring.

African Lily

Propagating The Agapanthus

If you enjoy propagating your own blooms, you’ll love the Agapanthus. These plants are easy to propagate. The best way to propagate this plant is by divisions. During the spring months, remove a clump of your plant. You’ll simply place the clump you collected from your established plant into a container with soil and water it. Place the container in a sunny spot to allow it to grow. Once it has sprouted, you can move your propagated African Lily to your garden or keep it growing in a container.

Agapanthus Varieties

The most common variety in this plant family is A. Africanus. This is a large plant that blooms blueish, purple flowers. They may be a bit too large to keep in your home full-time. So it is advised to place the A. Africanus directly in the ground outside rather than in a container. However, if you have a big enough container to keep them happy, go for it. Another variation is the A. orientalis. This plant can grow even larger, getting up to three feet in height.


Caring For Your Agapanthus

Watering and Pruning Your Agapanthus

These plants need a good amount of water during the growing season. Begin watering your African Lily on a schedule during the spring months. Then when the plant dies out during the winter months, do not water it at all. This gives the plant time to rest before new spring blooms blossom. Be careful not to overwater. Though they are tolerant of most environments, try not to over saturate the soil. Waterlogging the plant can lead to its demise.

The African Lily does not need much maintenance. Prune it just to keep up the appearance of the plant rather than letting it go wild. These plants do die back in the winter months, so prune during that period is best. Other than that, caring for your agapanthus doesn’t require much effort.

African Lily

Soil and Fertilizer

If you have trouble finding the perfect pH and nutrients for some plants when it comes to soil, the agapanthus is for you. This plant does not fuss over the soil’s pH or what nutrients are in it. They like a rich soil, preferably peat-based. However, as long as it is a soil that drains well, the African Lily will be happy. When planting your new flower, try adding some compost or mulch to the soil. These plants enjoy those things on occasion. Mulch will also help lock in hydration for your young planted flower.

These flowers do enjoy fertilizer. You can use a liquid fertilizer on your plants during the growing season. In early to mid-spring, use a mild fertilizer to encourage growth. Then once the plant has flowered, you no longer need to fertilize it. There also should be no fertilizing done in the winter months. If you treat your African Lily too well, blooms will not be as successful. It thrives under a tiny bit of stress. They are a plant that does not need much from the gardener.


During the flower’s growing season, they like a lot of sunlight. But, they also need some shade. Look for a spot in your garden that sees a good amount of the sun while also supplying some shade. This is the perfect environment for the African Lily to grow big and bold. If you are growing your flower in a container, be sure to provide it with enough sunlight during the day in the springtime. During the winter months, bring it inside to a dimly lit room. These plants love to rest up in winter to come back with a bang come growing season.


Pests And Disease

These plants do not seem to have much of an issue with pests or disease. If you notice some webs on your flower, that may be a sign they have mites. If you notice any signs of infestation, treat the plant accordingly. If you see the leaves of your plant turning yellow, have no fear. That is not a sign of disease but rather one of overwatering. Stop watering the plant for a bit and the problem should go away.


It is important to note that these plants are toxic to humans and cats. If your furry friend consumes one of these plants, it will almost certainly end in kidney failure. The sap within these flowers is also toxic to humans and should never be ingested. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to handle these plants with gloves on.



These beautiful flowers are rather easy to care for. If you are looking for a large and vibrant bloom to add to your garden or on your patio in a container, look no further! Making sure you are providing your plant with enough sunlight and water is key to keeping them happy. They are low-maintenance plants and don’t require much from the gardener. Pruning will only need to be done during the winter months when the plant dies off. If you have a cat friend in your home, make sure you keep these plants far out of their reach. They are also dangerous for humans to consume, so keep away from little ones. If you are careful with these plants, they are a fun addition to any garden!

Share this guide on social media if you found it helpful! And be sure to pass this along to your friend who is looking to add an easy but beautiful flower to their garden!