Forum home Plants

Moving Agapanthus from pot into ground

CamelliadCamelliad SussexPosts: 402
I have some 3 year-old Agapanthus in a pot. They flowered last summer for the first time. I'd like to put them in my sunny border this year. Having read on numerous occasions that Agapanthus like to be pot bound, I'm not sure whether to just go ahead and transfer the clump from pot to ground (on the basis that they're flowering so should hopefully continue to do so), or to put them in a plastic pot and sink the pot itself into the ground.

Has anyone does this? Grateful for advice.


  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,315
    My best flowering agapanthus are all in the ground. I don't think the whole 'they need to be pot bound' thing is really true. If you have the right conditions for them (sunny, good drainage) they'll be fine in the border but @Hostafan1 can advise better - I just muddle along. He actually knows what he's doing  :)

    One thing though, do you know if they are evergreen type? If they are, they can be tender so if you're in a cold area, they may be better staying in a pot so you can protect them over winter.
    “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” 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,369
    I have hardy agapanthus, deciduous, in the ground and they flower. The tender ones tend to be evergreen. This year, when the young leaves were showing, I split a potful into five plants which are all growing well. They are tough, I used a pruning saw to divide them. I've done it before. 

    I'm pretty sure Hostafan plants his in the ground.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • CamelliadCamelliad SussexPosts: 402
    Thank you both. 

    @raisingirl that's good to hear - yes they are deciduous and have sat out in the snow in their pot with no apparent damage. I'll be moving them to a lovely sunny bed so hopefully they'll be ok.

    @Busy-Lizzie I didn't realise you could split them - I'm wondering whether I could try that before putting them in the ground...
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,135
    I don’t think @hostafan plants his in the ground, he has dozens of very big pots on his patio. 
    The weather is not really suitable in the part of Devon that we live in, they are overwintered in the  GH. 
    Having said that,  in Cornwall they grow in the ground freely, not root bound, and as @raisingirl says, in her part of Devon they’re fine.
    I wouldn’t risk it. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 4,039
    The recommended advice is to split deciduous agapanthus in Autumn and evergreen ones in the Spring though I think plenty of agapanthus missed that memo when it came round. 

    Adding lots (and lots) of sharp sand or grit to the planting area should pay dividends.
  • The thing that has killed them in my garden has been snow in the crowns—even my evergreen ones have experienced -12 without any harm beyond losing a couple of leaves. This was in pots, and they will behave differently in the ground. I have to grow all mine in pots because there isn’t enough sun in the border. Yes, you can divide them all, and I think that some commercial nurseries must divide their evergreens in the spring, though in early rather than late April. I’d give it a go anyway if you prefer to keep yours in pots. You can refresh the soil at the same time, that way. They probably will take a few years to get back up to flowering size. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,273
    I'm flattered to be mentioned by so many of you. 
    I have about 30-40 deciduous varieties planted in the ground and all do well.
    I have about 70 pots of evergreen varieties which, as @Lyn says , go on the terrace in summer after spending winter in the polytunnel.
    Pine cottage plants, who had the national collection and bred over 300 new cultivars say " the best plants are those in the ground" 
  • CamelliadCamelliad SussexPosts: 402
    Thank you everyone. This is super useful.

    @Hostafan1 that's so impressive - do they all flower at around the same time or are there some later flowerers? I'm always a bit sad when they go over and always baffled that in some countries they grow at the side of the road like weeds!!!

    So based on all of your advice I think I will put the deciduous ones in the ground (but I won't split them this year - just one thing at a time) and keep the evergreen ones in pots to move under cover in the winter.

    Oooh I love a plan based on (other experienced gardeners') experience!

    Thanks everyone
  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 2,547
    Wow @Hostafan1!  Perhaps a name change to agapanthusfan1 might be in order? They are just gorgeous.
Sign In or Register to comment.