5 Reasons Why Agapanthus Leaves Turn White

Agapanthus leaves are naturally green. And anyone would want to know why agapanthus leaves turn white.

Reasons for agapanthus leaves turning white include Excessive sunlight, Germination, Viruses during division, Powdery mildew, and Chlorosis.

P.S- Agapanthus flowers turn white also, but for slightly different reasons. 

Is It Normal for Agapanthus Leaves to Turn White?

It is not normal for agapanthus leaves to be white. If you’re familiar with agapanthus plants, the image in your mind would be of the long green leaves.

Even during the process of death, the leaves would transition from green to yellow and eventually brown. But turning white is not a part of this natural process. 

Another condition agapanthus suffers from is curling. Read about all the reasons why agapanthus leaves curl. 

5 Causes of White Agapanthus Leaves

The whitening of agapanthus leaves may cause some unappealing sights in your garden. However, you may be able to change this if you manage to figure out why agapanthus leaves turn white. 

And, even if you can’t figure it out, we have you covered. Here are five reasons why it happens. 

#1- Sunlight

In extreme climates, the combination of heat, intense sunlight, and poor humidity, can beat down an agapanthus plant. The effects are drying and even fading of the leaves, which alters their appearance. 

These leaves will feature a change of color, from deep green to a light green and possibly a slight tinge of white.

You would have to look closely to see their white appearance that overlays the greener shade on the leaves. 

You can prevent the whitening of agapanthus leaves by limiting time in full sun if there is extreme heat.

You can also opt to mist them with water a bit more often, even if it is for shorter periods of time. 

#2- Germinating Plants

Some people have started off with a rumor that young agapanthus plants somehow turn blue to white while germinating. This is hard to believe and not true! 

However, there is a possibility that the plants germinating from the mother plant can be white. But only briefly before it turns green upon maturation and commencement of photosynthesis. 

After this point, the agapanthus plants will turn any color other than varying shades of green. This too will depend on the health and age of the plant. 

If agapanthus leaves turn white during germination, there is no need to act or panic, it resolves itself. 

Find out if Agapanthus roots are invasive. 

#3- Viruses During Division 

Do you have yellow and white agapanthus leaves that appear to be streaking through green leaves?

This could have resulted due to a virus infecting the agapanthus rhizomes during germination. 

In this case, there is not much you can do to save the foliage of this plant. And you would want to get rid of the plant to make sure no infected genes pass down to the next generation of agapanthus plants. 

Also, these streaked plants look far from attractive and you would not want to have them on display!

#4- Powdery Mildew

If your leaves are not actually white but rather appear to have a fluffy white layer on their top, this is something else! 

Diseases such as powdery mildew will appear as a layer of snow-white growth that replicates cotton wool. 

As the growth first appears it may show as small spots that appear powdery in texture! If left alone, powdery mildew will continue to grow. The next thing you know it will cover the entire surface of the agapanthus leaf. 

Luckily, early detection can help to treat and eliminate the disease. You can use an effective fungicide at the first signs of this disease. It usually comes as a liquid that must be made into a solution and sprayed over the plants. 

Prevention of powdery mildew in agapanthus includes:

  • Avoid warm and humid conditions that favor the growth of this fungus. 
  • This means creating enough spacing to satisfy the drying of the plant’s foliage with good air circulation. 
  • Use modified plant bulbs that are more resistant to the causative agent of this devastating disease.  
  • Do not water your plant overhead, instead water them from the base of the plant. 
  • Choose to water at the right time, soil should be relatively dry and not moist.  

Another way to stop the spread of powdery mildew is to ensure meticulous disposal of infected plant matter.

Powdery mildew is known to also affect a host of other plants including vegetables that many people plant in their backyard. 

Apart from diseases, pests that eat agapanthus can affect and even kill your plants. 

#5- Chlorosis / Aging 

The effects of chlorosis will be very slow happening over the course of a long time. So you may not notice it until your agapanthus leaves are white or almost white! 

Leaves are green due to the presence of a compound called chlorophyll that naturally exists in all plants. This chlorophyll is responsible for helping the leaves synthesize food which immensely fuels the growth of the plant. 

A lack of chlorophyll will lead to a reduction in food materials for the plant. Also, the plant gradually starts to lose its lush green appearance!

How do plant leaves start to lose chlorophyll, the very substance they have when they start to grow and develop?

Unfortunately, there are a number of ways agapanthus leaves lose their chlorophyll. Loss of chlorophyll can occur due to the aging of the plant or an injury or disease it has sustained.

Whatever the case may be, all these lead to a reduction in chlorophyll which is a serious problem for your agapanthus. 

Is It Normal for Agapanthus Flowers to Turn White?

Yes, it is natural for agapanthus flowers to eventually turn white. A gradual fading to white is the last thing you expect when your violet agapanthus flowers open. 

As sad as it is to hear, every flower has a shelf-life.

With continued flowering, they will eventually serve their purpose or run out of resources. It is impossible for agapanthus or any plant to flower forever! 

Why Do Agapanthus Flowers Turn White? 

After showing off their brilliant colors, and improving the outlook of your garden the agapanthus flowers may turn white. But not to worry so much as there are natural reasons why this happens. 


Staying in the intense sun for hours on end will eventually take a toll on your agapanthus flowers. After a considerable amount of time, you will notice their petals becoming dull and almost white!  

This can be clearly seen in areas that see above-average sun intensity and temperatures. This combination brings about this effect sooner than in areas with lower sun intensity and temperatures. 

Sunlight fading will be most common in flowers that have already been flowering for a long time. They are nearing the end of life and so there is not much love lost when these agapanthus flowers start to turn white.

Also, agapanthus flowers that are already white will become more of a translucent thin white color.  

End of Flowering Season

Agapanthus usually blooms for slightly more than a month. After which they will begin to deteriorate, beginning with the gradual discoloration of the flower petals. 

Flowers will turn white with age. But, some flowers have been noted to start turning white and aging once their purpose is met. 

For example, those flowers whose main goal is to assist in pollination will usually die when pollination occurs. A common sign of the impending is the whitening of these flowers. 

Is your agapanthus flowering? It is likely they will attract some insects. Here is why agapanthus attracts bees.


White leaves on an agapanthus plant will cause confusion and panic for people growing this plant for the first time.  

However, don’t panic as this can mean your agapanthus have a problem or something natural is causing this change. 

Agapanthus leaves turn white due to:

  1. Excessive sunlight
  2. Germination
  3. Viruses during division
  4. Powdery mildew
  5. Chlorosis

In some cases, the whitening of agapanthus leaves can be fixed but in other cases, it is an irreversible change! 

Related read: Why Do Agapanthus Leaves Turn Yellow? + Tips to Fix Them


What do you do when Agapanthus leaves turn white?

Immediately after you notice agapanthus leaves turning white, you should try to diagnose the cause of it. If it is due to powdery mildew, take steps to eradicate the disease. But, if it is due to aging, there is not much you can do. If the damage is irreversible, you may have to just remove the leaves completely and wait for them to shoot back. 

Will my white Agapanthus leaves turn green again? 

Yes in some cases and no in others! If the leaves have turned white due to aging or sunlight, they are unlikely to ever turn green again. But, if it is due to disease or germination, they can turn green again. But, only if you act fast to correct the problem. 

Why do Agapanthus leaves turn yellow? 

Agapanthus leaves turn yellow due to iron/nutrient deficiency, pests, pests, excessive water, and sunburn. Finding the problem fast and solving it may save your agapanthus plant. But, be warned this is a time-sensitive issue that should be addressed immediately!