© RHS/Joanna Kossak



Common name: African lily

Agapanthus are known for their large, blue drumstick-headed flowers in summer. These South African perennial plants are equally suitable for borders and large containers. Agapanthus look great when planted with drifts of ornamental grasses, sun-loving rudbeckias and goldenrod (Solidago). Most agapanthus are hardy and their leaves die down in winter. Evergreen forms are more tender and usually need the shelter of a greenhouse from early winter to spring.


Agapanthus have mounds of strappy, bright green leaves. Sturdy stems shoot up in summer carrying loosely spherical heads (up to 25cm (10in) across) of trumpet-shaped flowers – usually in varying shades of blue, with a few white selections too. Typically reaching 60cm-1.8m (2-6ft), a few dwarf varieties such as ‘Lilliput’ with a height of 40cm (16in) are also available.


Agapanthus flower in full sun. They tolerate most soils, as long as they drain freely.


Agapanthus hate being too cold and wet over winter. They will be reluctant to flower if allowed to dry out after flowering in late summer.

Did you know?

Allow a few faded flowers to form seed pods in autumn to prolong interest and cut back to base when they have gone over.

Growing guide

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Useful advice

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Overwintering tender plants: lifting or mulching

Overwintering tender plants: lifting or mulching

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