Agapanthus is a member of the lilace or onion family, according to various sources. This genus includes only five species, which are herbaceous perennials. In the wild, this flower is found off the sea coast in South Africa on the dry slopes of the Cape Province.
Properties of Agapanthus
The rhizome of Agapanthus is short and creeping, but the fleshy roots are quite thick. The foliage, assembled in a root rosette, is long and linear in shape.
During the flowering period, a powerful and relatively tall peduncle is formed, which emerges from the leaf rosette. Its top is decorated with white, deep blue or blue-purple flowers. Inflorescences-umbrellas include funnel-shaped flowers. Flowering can last up to eight weeks as the flowers open alternately. A properly developed adult bush can produce about 150 flowers.
In room conditions, the most commonly cultivated Agapanthus orientalis (Agapanthus umbellatus). The bush is decorated with ribbon-shaped, grooved foliage, and during the flowering period it displays blue flowers. The peculiarity of agapanthus is that its different species can very easily cross with each other, forming various hybrids. Because of this, to understand which species of agapanthus you are looking at is quite problematic.
Brief description of growing
Blooms lushly in the summertime. Duration of flowering is about 8 weeks.
- Brightness. Bright light is necessary.
- Temperature regime.
In spring and summer a normal room temperature, and in winter no warmer than 12 degrees.
- How to water. Water abundantly in spring and summer, and moderately in autumn and winter.
- Air Humidity. Grows normally at humidity levels typical of a living room.
- Fertilization. Feed regularly once every 10 days throughout the growing season with organic and mineral complexes (alternating them).
- Dormant period. Starts in September and ends in February.
As long as the bush is young it is transplanted once a year, but older varieties once every three or four years. This procedure is done in spring months. Mud and clay-sod soil, also sand and leafy soil (2:2:1:1).
- Propagation. By rhizome division and by seed.
- Pests. Spider mites and scales.
- Diseases. The ornamentality of the crop can suffer if not watered properly.
Home care for agapanthus
For the indoor agapanthus, choose a sunny location.
If it lacks light, the flower stems will grow very long and thin and will need additional support. The flower develops best on a window sill facing southwest, southeast and south.
Experienced florists recommend keeping the agapanthus in the garden or on the balcony in spring and summer when it is warm outside. In winter the shrub can be placed in a well-lit and cool (never warmer than 12 degrees) room.
How to water
In spring and summer water this plant regularly and abundantly.
From the beginning of September, conduct a gradual reduction of watering, and in winter, water rarely and with a small amount of water, not allowing the ground ball to dry out. Also at any time of the year, make sure that liquid does not stagnate in the plant's roots.
This flower does not need additional spraying because it grows and develops normally even at low air humidity.
From the second half of spring to the middle of autumn, agapanthus should be systematically fertilized once every 1.5 weeks.
To do this, use a complex mineral fertilizer and organic fertilizer, and they should be alternated.
Small and young bushes are transplanted every year in the springtime. And older plants are sufficient to be transplanted once every 3 or 4 years. When choosing a container, note that agapanthus blooms lushly only if the root system is cramped in the pot.
When transplanting, try not to injure the root system of the bush, otherwise it will be sick for a long time.
For transplanting, choose a wide pot, on the bottom of which a drainage layer is necessarily made. To prepare a suitable earth mixture, combine clay-turf, leaf and mulch soil, and still sand (2:1:2:1).
Growing from seed
Sow seeds in early spring. Take a small container and fill it with a substrate consisting of sand and leaf soil. Bury the seeds in it a little and moisten the seeds with a spray gun.
Cover it with cling film and make sure that the potting soil is always slightly moist. Regularly 2 times a day air the crops, to do this, remove the cover from the container for 30 minutes. Once the sprouts formed 3 or 4 true leaf plate they need to be unpacked in small pots. In this case, three or four seedlings should be planted in each pot.
Propagation by division
At the time of spring transplanting, the flower can be propagated by division if necessary.
To do this, the plant taken out of its pot is divided into several parts, which are planted in individual pots filled with moistened soil.
Diseases and pests of agapanthus
Agapanthus is resistant to diseases, but if it is not watered in time, this can lead to yellowing of leaves. This will also happen if the shrub feels a severe lack of moisture. Try to water the flower in a timely manner.
From pests, the spider mite and scab mite most often settle on this crop.
Flower Agapanthus - African Lily. Description, care, history
Agapanthus species with photo
Agapanthus orientalis (Agapanthus orientalis)
Born this herbaceous evergreen plant from South Africa. The linear leaf plates are rather broad, curved, and thick. The flower stalk can reach a little over half a meter in length. Flowering occurs in the second half of summer, with about 100 blue-colored flowers in a single umbrella-shaped inflorescence.
Agapanthus umbellatus (Agapanthus umbellatus)
Either an Abyssinian beauty or an African lily (Agapanthus africanus). In nature, this plant is found in South Africa. The bush can be up to 0.7 m tall. Its dark green, smooth, grooved, strap-shaped leaves form a root rosette.
The plates taper towards the top. Umbrella-like inflorescences are formed at the top of a tall peduncle. They consist of many funnel-shaped blue flowers. Each flower has 6 petals that are fused at the base. The bush blooms in the first half of summer.
And when it blooms, the seeds fully mature after 40 days.
Agapanthus campanulatus (Agapanthus campanulatus)
This herbaceous plant is a deciduous plant. In nature, it can be found in the humid mountains of South Africa. The linear upright leaflets are about 15 centimeters long. Flowering occurs in the second half of summer.
The bush produces bell-shaped blue flowers.
How to grow Agapanthus, African Lily in northern Ukraine