Gardening

Agapanthos: [Cultivation, Care, Irrigation, Substrate, Pests and Diseases]

The agapanthus is an ornamental type plant that develops with beautiful inflorescences covered with white or blue flowers .

It is a very beautiful flower because the flowers are arranged inside a balloon-shaped umbel. They produce a large number of flowers.

That is, the flowers are not presented individually throughout the structure, but grouped within the stems that grow and protrude from the plant.

This condition makes them prevail over other species when deciding to plant a beautiful plant that requires little care.

Do you know agapanthus? Do you know that you can enjoy it in your garden by learning a few things?

In fact, right now we present the most important points to you, so take note.

Important points when planting agapanthus
  • When? In early spring .
  • Where? In sun or semi-shade, preferring a slightly acidic soil with very good drainage.
  • How do we prepare the land? Withhomemade organic matter such as compost .
  • How should we water? With moderation. Ideal, drip irrigation .
  • How often do you have to water? In hot weather, three or four times a week. During the cold, once or twice will suffice.
  • What pests and diseases does it have? The most common disease around is rhizome rot from overwatering . The pests are mainly snails.

Characteristics of agapanto

Agapanthus is the only genus in the subfamily Agapanthoideae, of the flowering plant family Amaryllidaceae. The name is derived from the Greek: ἀγάπη (agapē – «love»), ἄνθος (anthos – «flower»).

Some species of Agapanthus are commonly known as lily of the Nile, or African lily in the UK.

However, they are not lilies and all species are native to southern Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique), although some have become naturalized in scattered parts of the world (Australia, Great Britain, Mexico, Ethiopia, Jamaica, etc. ).

The type species of the genus is Agapanthus africanus . Many hybrids have been produced . They are grown in all warm areas of the world. They can be seen especially in Northern California.

There are many varieties of agapanthus , so it is wise to choose a variety for your garden that suits what you would like.

The agapanthus has a height that varies, some are quite small 20-60cm; while others can grow up to 1.5 m. Use the smaller varieties in front of the border. All sizes can grow in containers.

The color of the flowers is important. There are tinted blues, pale sapphires, purples, and whites. Pick a shade you like and work with the plants you plan to add to the agapanthus.

The deciduous types that lose their leaves are the hardest and most resistant agapanthus . However, some agapanthus are tender (mainly evergreen ones ) and are best wintered in a cool greenhouse.

The flowers are mainly round in the shape of a trumpet. The less frequent agapanthus have hanging flowers on rounded flower heads.

When to plant agapanthus?

The ideal time is early spring , taking care that the risk of suffering late frosts is ruled out.

Where to plant agapanthus?

The location of the agapanthus plant is variable, as it is able to maintain itself very well in full sunlight or in semi-shade.

When kept in a shady place, the ability to generate flowers may be reduced.

Depending on the type of soil, it must be considered that they can survive at any pH level . However, acids are better for you.

How to prepare the land?

The land must be well drained . When this condition is not met, it is necessary to incorporate some element, such as sand, to achieve it.

This is because it is a very delicate species around waterlogging, because if it occurs, the rhizomes will most likely rot.

It is also a good plan to offer an appropriate level of nutrients with fertilization through an organic compost such as compost .

How do we water the agapanthus?

Watering agapanthus should be done in moderation, avoiding subjecting it to periods of drought.

The reality is that it is very hardy and could tolerate it, but it will affect its ability to flower and that is not the idea.

How often do we water?

The risks will be based on the environmental condition that prevails in each period.

During winter and fall, the most usual thing is to moisten the soil when it is dry. This could be once or twice a week.

In the summer and spring time it is necessary to pay more attention. The best thing is that the ground is always a little humid.

This will be achieved with waterings every three or four days.

How to sow agapanthus step by step?

Getting new agapanthus plants is possible through two ways: the multiplication of rhizomes and the germination of seeds .

The process with the seeds is more extensive and requires a lot of attention when selecting them because not just any will work.

As the success rate is higher in the case of rhizomes , we will concentrate on explaining this method so that you can enjoy your plant in optimal conditions:

  1. The rhizomes are located in the root of the plant itself , so it will be necessary to enter to the base of it so that we obtain access.
  2. Divide the root in half with the help of a shovel or some other strong tool since it is a very hard part. This action will have to be done with enough energy to avoid damaging the structure too much.
  3. After having the division, it is necessary to select the parts that contain shoots to proceed with the sowing. Otherwise, the process will not be successful.
  4. The rhizomes are planted in or n substrate with good amount of sand and having a pH more acid to facilitate proper development.
  5. At the time of finishing the sowing it will be necessary to water thoroughly, but without flooding. Then repeat this process while you establish yourself.
  6. In addition to the success that rhizomes usually have when sowing, it is also necessary to say that they take much less time than seeds to produce flowers.

In fact, a plant that manages to germinate from seeds may take up to 3 years for it to be feasible to sow in the garden.

What care does agapanthus need?

  • Fertilizations are necessary to improve the flowering capacity of the plant and also to work with its state of health .
  • These should be done during the spring taking advantage of the fertilizations that can be supplied through the irrigation water to improve the process.
  • Depending on the specific nutritional conditions of the plant, it will be necessary to decide which is the best fertilizer, but the common thing is that it has a low nitrogen level and a lot of potassium .
  • Pruning is advisable when the flowers are dry to clean the entire structure and allow it to recover before the next flowering cycle .
  • This point is also very important when you want to prevent the plant from reproducing excessively since this way the seeds are eliminated.

What pests and diseases affect you?

Agapanthus can be attacked by snails that consume the leaves . It is not something very frequent but it can happen.

As for diseases, the most common is rhizome rot due to excess irrigation water.

This condition occurs more frequently when they are established in pots that do not allow the water to flow well.

Of the rest, they do not generate many concerns because they are adaptable and their care needs are minimal.

It is important to point out that they are even capable of withstanding mild frosts, with temperatures down to -5º.

Varieties of agapanthus

  1. Agapanthus africanus ‘Headbourne hybrids’: offering a very full head of lilac blue flowers in August to October which are kept on 1m tall stems. A deciduous type that will overwinter in a sunny, sheltered location. A popular plant.
  2. Agapanthus africanus ‘Albus’ – Stunning white flowers from August to October. It will overwinter outside if it is in a sunny, sheltered location. It reaches a height of 70 cm.
  3. Agapanthus inapertus: dark blue flowers from August to September. You need a sheltered place to overwinter outside. It reaches a height of 70 cm.
  4. Agapanthus ‘Blue Triumphator’ – Light blue flowers in August and September. You need a sheltered place to overwinter outside. It reaches a height of 80 cm.
  5. Agapanthus ‘Jacaranda’ – An early blooming type that offers blue flowers from June to August. With a height of 90 cm.

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