Forum home Plants

Getting agapanthus to flower

turmericturmeric Posts: 825
Hello experienced gardeners, I have just been given three agapanthus plants as shown in the photos.  It was a real struggle to get them out of their pots but the previous owner wanted her pots back just not the plants! The lady no longer wanted them as she said they'd never flowered for her in the three years she's had them (she had them in the pots in full sun).  She was going to bin them!!  I couldn't resist rescuing them instead. So, my question is, what would you advise me to do?  I had planned to repot them each in a new pot (not much bigger than they were in before because I know they like to be crammed in but at least they'd have a bit of fresh compost) then to give them some tomorite (?) and then to put them in full sun.  But if anyone thinks I'm missing something vital to get them to flower please let me know.  Sorry about the messiness of the pics, they were heavy and I just dumped them on the table as I'd just got home from work. Thanks everyone.


  • BiljeBilje Posts: 740
    Apparently it’s a bit of a fallacy that they like to be pot bound. With that amount of root there will have been very little goodness left in the compost, perhaps that’s why they weren’t flowering. 
    I’d mix John Innes 2 or 3 compost half and half with regular multi purpose compost. Tease out the roots and pot them into larger pots. Keep them well watered there’ll be no need to feed just yet. It’s hard to tell but if there’s more than one crown you could split them, mind you the roots are really tough. You, are rather the original owner, we’re lucky to get them out of the pot. Years ago mine were in lovely terracotta pots which narrowed at the neck I had to smash the pots. 

  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,790
    We've grown Agapanthus in open ground and they flowered just the same as the potted ones, so I think @Bilje is correct.  

    I wouldn't split them now, if you want them to flower this year, as that tends to delay flowering.  I start feeding mind as soon as I see new shoots coming up (with Tomorite), and I don't stop until well after flowering.

    Regular watering and feeding, plus full sun, is what usually results in reliable flowering.  There is a myth that they thrive on neglect, and many people don't do this, which may be why they didn't flower for the previous owner.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    watering and feeding [email protected] says, especially AFTER the flowering season .
    Given the leaf, I'd suggest they're evergreen varieties which are not as hardy as deciduous types. They'll need a bit of shelter over the winter.
  • turmericturmeric Posts: 825
    Brilliant advice, thank you.  Bilje it was me that got them out of the pots and yes, the pots narrowed just below the rim!  I was so worried about her pots but somehow I managed to tease them out with a lot of huffing and puffing from me!

    KeenonGreen, there are two crowns in each pot but I won't separate them this year as you say.  I want to try to get them to flower first and them think about separation.  I might put one clump in the ground to compare..?

    And yes Hostafan1 I think they're the evergreen type, the leaves are very wide and I don't remember them dying back.  I have a conservatory so I can bring the ones that go back into pots inside over winter.

    Fingers crossed for a brilliant show this year... :) Many thanks again everyone.

  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 1,030
    I only got my first one last year but I'm trying to follow this chap's advice which seems straightforward-
  • turmericturmeric Posts: 825
    Brilliant Dirty Harry, just watched it.  You can always rely on a Northerner to give it to you straight! :)  I've been potting up my geraniums tonight so the agapanthus will be tomorrow's job, it'll give me a chance to get some more compost in for them.  Lucky I enjoy gardening, it seems to fill my mornings, days and now evenings..! Many thanks.
  • They need sun after flowering as they make next year’s flower buds the previous late summer. They also like plenty of feeding to flower well, especially high potash plant food. But mine seem to flower come what may. It’s easy to think you are giving them plenty of sun but they really need several hours a day, which may have been why they failed in the original owner‘s garden—certainly they look healthy enough!
  • RuthmshawRuthmshaw Posts: 45
    I too have had some evergreen agapanthus (Queen Mum) for three years with no flowers. First year in ground, second year in pots, fed in autumn, this year in pots sunk in ground. If they don’t perform this year they are going to be binned. I have warned them.
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose Posts: 538
    I have bought a crown this spring. Planted it in the ground. We will see what happens. No shoots yet. 

    Never grown Agapanthuus before. I have seen them in gardens and love the blooms so thought I would give them a try. Where they are planted, they will get won from late morning through to evening.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    I only got my first one last year but I'm trying to follow this chap's advice which seems straightforward-
    "video unavailable"  :'(
Sign In or Register to comment.