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Furthe agapanthus advice

Now that I am a convert to agapanthus and have two successfully flowering in pots, my friend has kindly given me the one in the photo.  She has had it for a few years, but it has never flowered.  However, it hasn't been kept in the sun and is just in general purpose compost. I am going to try and rectify this by repotting it into John Innes and grit, and placing it in full sun my sheltered patio.  My questions are:

1. When should I do this?
2. Is there a way of telling if it is evergreen/deciduous, or even the variety?
3. Its leaves are very small, is this just because it has been in the wrong conditions?
4. Is there a way of telling its hardiness, or should I just fleece it over winter anyway, until it flowers?



  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 574
    The pot is a bit too big for it. Agapanthus flower best when they are tightly packed in a container. It sounds a bit cruel, but it 'stresses' them a bit so they form flowers as a way of ensuring they will have seed pods to follow (next generation if parent plant doesn't survive)
    I would be inclined to transfer it into the next size down pot, now, in John Innes and sharp grit, and place it in a sunny, sheltered position.
    Probably not evergreen. Protect it from low temperatures. I keep mine in a cold greenhouse, I stand the pot on a polystyrene sheet as insulation and cover all with horticultural fleece.  Let the pot stay dry overwinter.
    Hopefully next year you may see some flower buds, which should help you to identify the variety.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,025
    I am not an Agapanthus expert, but I have always believed [ maybe wrongly ] that it was a myth that they liked to be cramped.
    I think the key, is good soil based compost, feed and water well.
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • mmsj496mmsj496 Posts: 69
    Thanks Yorkshire Rose (I am in West Yorkshire :smile: )

    Yes, I was going to reduce the pot size as well.  Just to check, I can do it now?
  • We used to grow lots of Agapanthus, they seeded easily all over the garden.  We tried growing one in a 12" terracotta pot, it did quite well for the first couple of years and looked nice, flowering well and increasing in plant size.  However one summer we found the pot had completely cracked broken - the plant was root bound and had no room for expansion, the lovely clay pot was unusable. 
  • HazybHazyb Posts: 336
    I wouldn’t worry about the pot size. I have two young ones with one flower each and they are not cramped in the pots. 

    Hoylands have a national collection and they say this -
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,303
    I too believe the whole " they like to be potbound" is a myth.
    I believe the reason they don't flower is a lack of enough water AND fertilser AFTER flowering. This is when they make buds for next year's flowers ( in the same way we feed Daffodils after flowering )
    Another "myth" is that they don't flower the year they're split. These were all split in February.

    My guess is that your plant has used up all the nutrients in that pot so give it a weekly weak feed of tomato food until they die down in Autumn. 
    I'd say your plant is likely to be deciduous. General rule of thumb, the thinner the leaves, the more likely it is to be deciduous. Deciduous hybrids are much hardier than evergreen types. 
    Depending on your location they're usually hardy enough to be outdoors in winter . I only bring in the evergreen plants in the above photos into the polytunnel for winter. I planted out about 40 deciduous plants in the garden this year.
  • mmsj496mmsj496 Posts: 69
    I took it out of its plastic tub (which did have drainage holes in the bottom) and it was sodden general purpose compost two third up from the bottom - which I removed.  It is now in a better sized terracotta pot with 50/50 John Innes and grit, and in full sun.  I hope it takes.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,303
    You might not notice much change for the rest of this season.
    What did the roots look like?
  • mmsj496mmsj496 Posts: 69
    Like lots of white tapeworms.  They had only managed to penetrate the top third of the pot, probably due to waterlogged conditions.
  • mmsj496mmsj496 Posts: 69
    I am excited to see what cultivar it might be, if it flowers next year.
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