Agapanthus Africanus (African lily)
This perennial is semi-evergreen so it can lose some of its leaves in winter. In colder regions or more exposed gardens, it may lose them all, but then fresh new growth appears again in spring.
Position: full sun
Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil (or John Innes no. 2 compost for containers)
Rate of growth: average
Flowering period: July to September
Hardiness: half hardy (will need protection from frost in winter)
Globes of of trumpet-shaped blue flowers which can be variable in colour appear from July to September on straight stems above bold clumps of strap-like, mid-green leaves. These beautiful African lilies provide valuable late summer interest in a sunny, well-drained border, or large patio pot. Where temperatures fall below zero, container-grown specimens should be overwintered in a frost free place.
Garden care: Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly from spring until flowering. Towards the end of September ease back on watering and feeding of plants in containers to allow the foliage to toughen up. In cold areas, protect the crowns of the plants with a deep, dry mulch to protect them from hard frosts, or grow in a pot so they can be overwintered in an unheated greenhouse. Divide agapanthus that have become too big in spring, but remember you will often get more flowers when the roots are constricted.