Ever seen the flower cluster of an Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile/African Lily)? If so, you’ll wonder where to plant agapanthus to maximize its chances of producing a full bloom.
Where to plant agapanthus for best results depends on multiple factors including Sun, Companion plants, Soil, weather zone, etc.
If you want to know how these points dictate the best place to plant your agapanthus, continue reading.
#1 – Location- Give Your Agapanthus Enough Sun
The exact location of where to plant agapanthus matters a lot. That’s because giving it too much sun or shade affects growth as well as flowering.
Many people mistake agapanthus for a shade-loving plant. This is false, it isn’t!
The sunlight requirements of Agapanthus cannot be bargained with! This plant that originates from South Africa craves warmth and light.
But if you live in a country with a mild climate, your agapanthus can tolerate more sun.
Ideally, agapanthus grows best in areas with temperatures between 20℉ and 50℉ (-6℃ to 10℃). You should plant agapanthus in a sunny location that receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.
Related read: Where is the best place to plant a lemon tree?
You’ll find a partially shady spot most appropriate for agapanthus plants if you live in extremely hot climates.
Agapanthus leaves and bulbs dry out fast in hot climates when watering efforts are inadequate.
Plant agapanthus in partial shade in climates with temperatures above 50℉ (10℃).
But beware too much shade will eliminate any chances of a good bloom. Full shade may completely stop any ability to carry out photosynthesis, this drastically affects growth.
#2 – Plant Agapanthus with Companion Plants
If you are aiming to re-landscape your garden, looking at the plants already present is important.
Agapanthus need worthy neighbors that will look good with them and not compete too much with them.
When considering where to plant agapanthus, consider any advantages the companion plants would offer. For example:
Plants That Improve Agapanthus Pollination
Plant agapanthus where it gets the highest chance of being pollinated. Some of these plants probably have the same pollinators hence it makes sense to plant them together.
Flowers that attract agapanthus pollinators are:
- Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
Flowering Plants That Look Appealing With Agapanthus Flowers
Agapanthus usually has bluish-purple or white flowers. You can plant them near other blue flowers or add completely different colored flowers.
Depending on what color scheme you are aiming for, you can plant them near the following flowers:
- Hibiscus – multiple colors
- Canna Lilies
- Oleander – pink, white, or red flowers
- Tecoma – yellow, orange, or pink flowers
You can even use agapanthus to add color to a green area made up of palms and monstera plants.
#3 – Best Soil Spot to Plant Agapanthus
When trying to figure out where to plant your agapanthus, the soil is a crucial detail to consider! Soil requirements can further be categorized based on their characteristics. These are pH, fertility (nutrient value), and moisture.
Agapanthus does not have any specific requirements when it comes to pH. But, the variety Agapanthus africanus prefers acidic soil.
When talking about soil fertility, it means the presence of nutrients in the soil and their concentration.
Agapanthus are heavy feeders and require steady availability of common nutrients such as Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium.
Try planting agapanthus in soil that is very fertile or has high amounts of organic matter incorporated into it. Follow the below guidelines for fertilizer use:
- Use a fertilizer that has balanced amounts of Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (N-P-K), for example, 10-10-10/5-5-5.
- Alternatively use a fertilizer that has marginally higher amounts of Phosphorus than Nitrogen.
- Apply fertilizer twice a year. Once in early spring and then again two months later as these are the growing season months.
Agapanthus need well-draining soil. However, soil that drains too fast is far from ideal!
The soil where you will plant agapanthus should be capable of holding enough moisture to support the plant.
Avoid planting agapanthus plants in areas of sandy or clay soil. Sandy soils drain too fast while clay soil retains too much water.
#4 – Is it Better to Grow Agapanthus in Pots or in the Ground?
Should you plant agapanthus in pots or on the ground?
This is a common question to ask when trying to find the right place for this plant. The answer depends on the climate and personal preferences.
Here are some points to help you decide which is better for your agapanthus, a pot or the ground.
- The agapanthus plant grows quite well in pots despite the space restriction. These plants can spread but are restricted in pots!
- Due to higher exposure to air and sun, a potted lily of the Nile plants tends to dry out faster. Hence, more watering will be necessary.
- Agapanthus will eventually outgrow their container. You will have to divide and transplant them.
- The best perk about pot planted agapanthus is that they are mobile. They can be easily moved to a particular spot based on their need of the hour.
- When planted in the ground, agapanthus will have enough moisture and nutrients compared to the potted plants that are restricted.
- Agapanthus is sometimes considered a weed as they spread when given the chance to. They could overtake your garden!
- You will have to choose a spot that has companions appropriate for your lily of the Nile.
#5 – USDA Zone
If you are living in the USA, the USDA zone also dictates where to plant agapanthus plants. Agapanthus plants will grow in states that best mimic the conditions and climate in their native land, South Africa.
Plant agapanthus in USDA zones 7 to 11, depending on climate. Also, it is possible to grow them in states that experience the least frost and cold.
Some agapanthus varieties are more hardy than others. But, regardless of the hardiness of the agapanthus, bringing them indoors can help them survive winter.
Alternatively, you can just harvest the bulbs and plant them after winter passes.
Flower buds and younger plants are susceptible to frost damage. Hence, growing in zones 6 and less may prove to be problematic when cold seasons approach.
When to Plant Agapanthus?
Agapanthus plants are mostly grown from rhizomes or bulbs. These rhizomes are underground shoots that continue to grow while attached to the parent plant. Upon separation, these rhizomes can grow as independent plants.
Rhizomes are vulnerable to cold and frost. Therefore, the season greatly influences when to plant agapanthus.
- Plant agapanthus in late Fall or Winter in warm climates where frost is rarely experienced.
- Alternatively, plant agapanthus in Spring in cold climates if the frost period has passed.
If a spell of cold and frost appears, you will need to protect your agapanthus. Flower buds are especially at risk of frost damage if there are any.
In some circumstances where cold is prominent, plant agapanthus in pots to help them establish. Then you can move them outdoors. Ensuring they get enough sunlight and water is vital to their growth.
Regardless of when you plant your agapanthus, make sure to look after them and provide according to their exact needs. This will help them establish a root system fast.
Interested in growing herbs and spices? Find out when to plant Garlic in various parts of the USA.
One factor alone is not enough to decide where agapanthus should be planted.
It is a range of conditions and factors that must align in selecting the best location to plant agapanthus plants.
Wherever you plant your agapanthus should have the best conditions for the location, neighboring plants, soil, pot or ground, and weather zone.
Agapanthus needs 6 to 8 hours of sun, fertile well-draining soil, with adequate watering when necessary only. They grow better in warm climates and require protection during winter in areas where frost is prominent.
With all these considerations in mind, we’re sure you’ll find the right place to plant agapanthus plants. All the best!
Agapanthus is a sun-loving plant that cannot thrive in a location with shade alone.
Climates do vary greatly and this influences the sun to shade ratio. In colder or mild climates they need 6 to 8 hours of sun. But in warmer climates less sun and more shade are necessary.
Yes, agapanthus spread a lot and may even become a weed! They can do so very rapidly since they produce progeny through underground shoots called rhizomes. Each rhizome has the ability to develop into a completely independent plant. However, these young plants will take a few years before they produce flowers.
You should plant agapanthus plants 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) apart. This provides enough space for each plant to grow and mature. It is also close enough to make sure that resources do not go to waste by the plants being too far apart.