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Agapanthus ‘Midnight Blue’

Agapanthus ‘Midnight Blue’

The farmhouse garden, in front of the house at Hyde Hall has a symmetrical structure with an informal and soft planting of summer perennials with strong shades of blue, purple and orange being utilised. These vibrant colours stand out in the bright light of this south facing garden and Agapanthus ‘Midnight Blue’ comes to the fore in July and August when its strong, upright flowering stems bears heads of deep blue flowers.

Vital statistics

Common name
African lily
Family
Alliaceae
Height & spread
45cm (18in) tall x 30cm
Form
Clump-forming perennial
Soil
Fertile, moist but well-drained soil
Aspect
Full sun
Hardiness
Fully hardy

Agapanthus

This is a genus of about six species of vigorous evergreen and deciduous perennials. The evergreen species come from southern Africa and occur in coastal areas, the deciduous ones in moister, mountain grassland in inland regions.

They form bold clumps of large, strap-shaped, usually arching leaves, and bear rounded, intermediate, or pendent umbels of many tubular, bell- or trumpet-shaped, blue or white flowers. The inflorescences are good for cutting and are followed by decorative seed heads.

They do well in a border or in large containers. Most hybrids are deciduous and usually hardier than the species, with dense, rounded umbels, to 20cm (8in) across, of 3cm (11/4in) long flowers, and with leaves to 45cm (18in) long.

Agapanthus flowers are borne in three main inflorescence types: rounded umbels of bell- to trumpet- shaped flowers; intermediate umbels of usually trumpet-shaped flowers; and pendent umbels of tubular flowers.

Agapanthus gets its name from the Greek agape, love, and anthos, flower.

Agapanthus ‘Midnight Blue’

This is a clump-forming perennial with intermediate umbels of broadly trumpet-shaped, very dark blue flowers in mid- and late summer.

Cultivation

  • Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. In cold areas, mulch hardy hybrids in winter.
  • In containers, grow in loam-based compost. Water freely when in growth, sparingly in winter. Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly from spring until flowering.
  • Slugs, snails and viruses may be a problem.

Propagation

  • Sow seed at 13-15°C (55-60°F) when ripe or in spring; keep the seedlings in a frame for the first winter in frost-prone climates. They will flower in two to three years. Most seedlings grown from garden seed do not come true. 
  • You can also divide agapanthus in spring.
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