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Agapanthus Help !

I bought a huge agapanthus from the garden center about 3 weeks ago !

I planted in the garden but later read somewhere they prefer pots; however its done now and seems to be thriving.

As it was quite expensive just wanted some help in advance how I prepare it for winter ? Do I cut the huge flower stalks right back once they have finished flowering?

How do I protect form the cold up here in the northeast? 

Last edited: 14 August 2017 09:45:09



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    Do you know which variety it is?

    Is it evergreen or deciduous?

    The narrower the leaves is a rough guide to hardiness. Narrow ones tend to be deciduous hybrids which are hardier than the wider, strappy leaved types which are evergreen and need more protection.

    Cut the flower stems right down after flowering.

    They don't like to be wet in the winter ( more damaging than actual cold) so if your garden is on heavy clay soil, or floods, I'd dig it up and put it into a large pot.

    On lighter, sandier soil types they're fine but you'll lose the leaves on the " evergreen" varieties.

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    I'd cut the flower spikes off to stop it setting seed and put all its energy into the bulb for next year,

    I would lift it once the leaves start dying back and plant in a pot for next year as they like restricted roots to make them flower, otherwise you get a lovely healthy plant, but no flowers.

    you need to be able to just get your fingers between the bulb and the inside of the pot- any more of a gap and it will probably not flower next year (there is a good chance it won't anyway, they can be a bit finicky when they want) - planting mixture should be sandy/gravelly as they love good drainage.

    as for hardiness it depends on the type of agapanthus you got, some are as hardy as you can get, some don't like frost, best bet is to google the name and it'll tell you how hardy it is.

  • Thank you - its a big blue so will google it.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    tee hee. " big and blue" isn't much to go on. 

    Can you post  a photo of it?

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,651

    They grow fine in the ground but they don't like wet feet so hopefully you've put it somewhere sunny and free draining. Cut the flower heads off once they go to seed. You'll hear it said that they don't flower well unless their roots are confined. That's not been my experience. They flower in the wild without pots, after all. I've got a 20 year old plant that has never been brought indoors in winter (and it got down to minus 16 here in 2010) but it is deciduous....

    The deciduous ones are generally hardy. Just leave the leaves that die back as they'll protect the crown of the plant from frost. You can clear it off in the spring. 

    If it's an evergreen then you may need to give it some protection from frost if it gets very cold. Some fleece, maybe, if you can't lift it and take it inside for the worst of winter. Again, if they are dry, they'll probably be OK even if it gets down to zero but cold and wet will kill it.

    To get it to flower next year in open ground, you'll probably need to feed it well 

    Last edited: 14 August 2017 10:07:24

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Thanks for that, that's what i thought about pots ground as I have seen some large ones growing happily outside.

    When you say cut the flower heads off - do you cut just the head or the whole stalk?

    Do you keep feeding all winter ? or just till the end of autumn?

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    I too disagree with the whole " won't flower unless potbound " maxim.

    I bought lots from Pine Cottage Plants who had one of the national collections with over 750 different varieties.

    I quote:

    " Whilst the very best plants are produced by growing them in the ground, excellent results and flowering can be achieved by cultivation in containers"

    They had many of their plant planted on little mounds to keep the crowns , effectively, above ground level.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    Cut the whole flower stalk to the ground once it's finished.

    Feed and water until late summer, then leave off the feed but make sure it's always moist. I've found , and many will disagree, that most common reason for non flowering is that the plants have become dry in late summer/ autumn.

  • Ah brilliant thanks for that - will definitely follow your advice.

  • stephenhdstephenhd Posts: 3
    My agapanthus has produced between 6 and 8 flowers every year for the past 5 years. This year only 1 flower has grown. What might be the reason for this?
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