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Talkback: Agapanthus

I sowed some agapanthus seeds I saved last year and when I checked them yesterday I found that in spite of still being very small plants they were already becoming pot bound so I potted a couple on - probably a mistake but hopefully they will be interesting in the long run.
Do you know if agapanthus come true from saved seed or will I have a surprise when they flower.


  • You may well have a surprise, especially if you are growing several different varieties and there is an opportunity for them to cross pollinate.

    Raising plants from seed always provides plants with an opportunity to produce offspring with different characteristics from their parents. However, this doesn't mean that offspring won't appear very similar to their parents. I'm sure you'll end up with something interesting, but do be patient, as plants can take three years or so before flowering for the first time.
  • Thanks for that Adam. Patience has become my middle name as my passion is growing plants and shrubs from cuttings. I only ever buy one of a plant then spend the next year or so propagating more from cuttings.
  • Hi Adam - Agapanthus' are brilliant plants, and I've got quite a few that have been growing for 4-5 years, and are now producing a lot of flowers. 'Enigma' is my current favorite. Apart from dividing & sowing seeds, can Agapanthus' be grown effectively from root cuttings?
  • Mike, despite agapanthus producing such a wonderful root system, I'm afraid they cannot be propagated from root cuttings. Division is probably your best way of raising identical plants to the parent, and plants can be raised from seed, although may look different from their parent.

    Root cuttings are not a common form of propagation, but can be used for propagating oriental poppies, Phlox paniculata, rhus, and other shrubs and perennials. Mint and other plants that spread by root runners can also be propagated in this way.
  • Hi Adam, Earlier this year I inherited a large builders bucket of Agapanthus (currently my fave flower) I believe they are about 10 years old. Only 3 of them have flowered. I have no idea how many flowered previously. Do they have a natural lifespan and then stop flowering? or should I split them up and hopefully give them a new lease of life? Any suggestions gratefully received.
  • Cathy, as I've said in my blog, agapanthus do flower best once their roots have filled their container. However, once they get very potbound I believe their flowering performance declines, and they need to be potted into a larger container.

    Very large plants can also be divided to produce several smaller ones instead. Divided plants may take a year or two to establish before flowering well.
  • my geraniums are water logged after the bad rain some flowers have started to slowly die any advice. also by the way i m a new gardener my acer is getting very dry and shriveled up it is watered fed but as the weather has been to hot or raining i think it can not cope it is still in the pot i bought it in as i dont wont to put it in the ground please help i love my plants and dont wont them to die like my runner beans cheri ferring w.sussex
  • Cheri, my knowledge of acers is limited, however, it may be worth trying to repot it, perhaps it is 'pot bound'. Re Agapanthus, I have mine growing in the ground and to date have 24 flower heads, I never thought to keep it in a pot! Runner beans, plenty of growth not many flowers am I alone in this respect? Hazel in Lincolnshire
  • cheri,here in southwick i find the salty windy conditions play havoc on plants like acer and you need to put in sheltered spot. Will need putting into a decent size pot or in ground is OK just bear in mind in a pot it needs more tlc! Neil in windy southwick
  • My Agapanthas had flowered brilliantly for about 5 or 6 years, lost count of the flower heads but the last two years had got less and less. This spring I repotted it, had to saw the plastic pot in two to get it out and then I sawed the plant into 4. Two went into the ground and two into pots. The ones in the ground have surprised me and are flowering and one in a pot is flowering, thought I may had put them off this year. I feed mine every week, alternating the feed. I have lost one of my best Acers, I have yet to look but think it is vine weevil, I do all my pots for this grub with Provada three times through the growing year. Obviously not enough for this one.
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