Agapanthus are a classic in Sydney and in gardens all around Australia. They’re tough as nails when it comes to the Australian climate, yet have lush, green foliage and manage to be soft and pretty too with their balls of flowers borne high on stems above the leaves.
To a gardener, they’re the perfect low maintenance plant, forming a strappy border with their evergreen foliage but rewarding you too with those dramatic stems and soft balls of blooms, bobbing gently on a summer breeze. To an imaginative child, they may represent anything from a fairy wand to a sword – but Agapanthus will take some rough treatment from tiny hands too, another reason they’re perfect for family gardens.
Traditionally, Agapanthus have blue or white flowers and grow to around 1m high – but there are lots of new and interesting varieties that put a twist on these favourites.
- Agapetite: A tiny dwarf variety growing to just 20cm x 20cm with pure white double blooms nestled amongst the foliage. Perfect for low borders or mass planting under taller shrubs. Agapetite appreciates protection from frost while young but is tolerant once established.
- Snowball: A slightly larger dwarf variety growing to around 45cm high x 30cm wide. Snowball features masses of pure white flowers – it flowers more profusely than most Agapanthus varieties.
- Peter Pan: Growing to 50cm high x 30cm wide, Peter Pan produces heads of bright blue flowers that are profuse throughout spring and summer
- Back in Black: Growing to 65cm high x 30cm wide, Back in Black looks unlike any other Agapanthus. Deep, dark purple flowers are borne on stems that are jet black. Stems emerge green and darken as they grow, contrasting beautifully against the bright green foliage.
- Strawberry Ice: This pretty variety produces densely clustered flowers that are white with a blush of pink through each bell. Grows to a height of 80cm and 70cm wide.
- Purple Cloud: Produces clusters of deep purple flowers on 2m high stems, growing to a width of 1m.
- Black Magic: Forms large buds that open to dark purple flowers on 2m high stems, growing to a width of 75cm.
- Purple Magic: This pretty variety has purple flowers that are streaked with white, giving them an interesting pattern and overall softer look. Stems grow up to 2m high, plant to 1m wide.
Like all Agapanthus, these varieties have a few things in common too:
- Agapanthus absolutely thrive in full sun, but will tolerate full shade – though you may find that the number of flowers produced is reduced.
- Tolerate most soil types, but do prefer a free draining soil.
- Grow well both in the garden, as borders or mass planted, or in pots and containers.
- Once established, Agapanthus have a low water requirement, making them drought hardy.
- Be sure to remove spent flowers. While some varieties are sterile, many self-seed so removing finished flowers will stop them spreading where they’re not welcome. Be sure to remove spent flowers even for sterile varieties, as (like most flowering plants) this process encourages the production of more flowers.
Click here for tips on how to care for your Agapanthus.