Agapanthus-how long to bloom from seed?

socal23(USDA10/Sunset23)March 1, 2003

I'm a bit of a lazy gardener, I harvested some seed pods from agapanthus growing at a business, took them home separated the seeds and sowed them in situ in the garden. Predictably, germination was poor, but I now have 9 seedlings (all growing within a 1ft. diameter area). How long will these take to get to blooming size? (they were sown in September and are range from 1/2-2" tall).

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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

Hi there, I don't have a definite answer for you, but some guidelines. Seeds of the small bulbous plants, such as Sparaxis and Freesias, often produce flowers within eight months, but other bulbs generally will produce flowering plants only in their second year (roughly 18 months after sowing). Some take two to four years from the time seed is sown until flowers appear. My guess is that Agapanthus will be in the latter group.
Did you know that Agapanthus was one of the first South African plants to be grown in Europe? There is a reference dating back to 1679 where it is described as having flowered in a garden in Europe, and there is also a record dated 1692 stating that it had flowered in the Royal Garden at Hampton Court. Today they are very popular in the south of England, many parts of Europe, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and South America. Delina

    Bookmark   March 1, 2003 at 11:40PM
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Waussie(Albany WA)

Aggies grow very easily here and I have never really noted how long they take to flower, I think they may flower in the second year, especially if they are watered in the summer. I don't think they are a 'bulb' although they are often sold as that.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2003 at 10:49AM
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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

Waussie, nice to know that Agapanthus is so beloved in Australia that it even has a nickname "Aggies" ... yes, it is not a bulb, but grow from a fleshy rootstock, with masses of big fleshy roots which enable them to stand long periods without water. In "Wild Flowers of South Africa for the Garden" by Una Van der Spuy, she classes plants with true bulbs, corms, rhizomatous, tuberous, or fleshy roots together as bulbous plants, and that's where my thinking comes from.
As a matter of fact, I think it would be helpful if I posted (in a different thread) Ms Van der Spuy's definitions of the above, and give examples of each. I'll do that a bit later today. I am so glad to see that our new forum has so much life to it! Delina

    Bookmark   March 2, 2003 at 2:28PM
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Thank you for the information, we'll see how they do, as they will not receive summer irrigation (and like Western Australia, it doesn't rain here in summer either) if they don't make it, they don't make it.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2003 at 3:20PM
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Waussie(Albany WA)

Most everything has a nickname here, and Aggies are not popular with the local 'bush zealots' who want them classed as weeds.
I have never seen any growing in the bush, except near houses where they have probably grown from garden waste dumped there.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2003 at 11:13PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

I have agapanthus that have self-sown in my garden. They are about 3 yrs old, maybe 6" in size, and haven't bloomed. This doesn't surprise me, as they seem much too small. I have transplanted a few to better locations in hopes of faster growth. I'm sure you realize 9 seedlings in a 1ft. diameter area will be much too crowded. My mature plants are about 24" in diameter. It seems agapanthus from seed will require patience.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2003 at 12:59PM
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Waussie(Albany WA)

Seems theres some other variable at work here, I planted some out in the lawn, maybe 8" apart and they all flowered. They were single stems with maybe 6 leaves. I have some on a bank in very dry poor sand, they don't form big clumps but they flower every year. No water in summer or fertiliser ever.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2003 at 11:49AM
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Thanks for the info, we'll see what we see. I'll let you know when they bloom (by which time everyone will have no doubt forgotten about this thread).

    Bookmark   March 8, 2003 at 6:31PM
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Wow, I was searching for something else and noticed this thread hadn't yet fallen off.

It's been almost two years, the one plant that has survived now has 6" leaves, and still doesn't look anything like flowering.

BTW Waussie (if you're still around) what's the annual rainfall in your area?


    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 11:38PM
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debandjeremy(Perth WA)


This is the info on the climate in Albany, where Waussie lives:
"Albany's long-term median annual rainfall is approximately 930 mm though there can be considerable variation in the total rainfall from year to year. Annual rainfall has ranged from 1395.2 mm in 1955 to 628.5 mm in 1972. On average, approximately 72 per cent of the annual rainfall occurs between May and October. Although cold fronts are responsible for much of the recorded rainfall total, a moist onshore flow can occur in any season and bring showers or drizzle. Thus Albany records rainfall on 178 days annually, on average, which equates to almost one day in every two.

July is the wettest month, with a long-term average of over 140 mm, whilst rain occurs on two days out of every three during an average winter. The driest month is February with a mean of about 23 mm and in summer it rains on average about one day in every four.

Like other parts of southwest WA, winter rainfall has decreased in Albany during the latter half of the twentieth century. Evidence suggests that both natural variability and the enhanced greenhouse effect have most likely contributed to this decrease.

Average maximum temperatures peak in January and February in Albany, with monthly means of almost 23°C although temperatures above 35°C sometimes occur when hot, dry northerly winds arrive from the interior of WA. Overnight minima also peak in January and February at a mild 15°C, on average.

Winter daily maximum temperatures average approximately 16°C, while the average minimum is approximately 8°C in July and August. Daily minimum temperatures below 5°C can be expected about once or twice a month in winter, but Albany daily temperature records between 1907 and 1965 show no occasion where the temperature fell to zero. At Albany Airport, temperatures at or below zero have been recorded on only two occasions between 1965 and 2002.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 9:53PM
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Wow, this winter we've seen 635mm, nearly twice our average of 330mm. Our rainy season is also more concentrated with most rain falling from November to April. We see no measurable rainfall from May to October many years. I think one-tenth of an inch is the highest recorded June rainfall.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 6:35PM
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hi socal, aggies need a good sunny spot to flower properly, and 2 years would be about the earliest they will flower so you might see some flower stalks coming up in the spring. Im quite a bit north of waussie so our climates would be pretty similar (they seem to catch a lot more cold fronts than we do up here). I usually plant them somewhere where theyll get some shade by the late afternoon in summer, but somewhere where theyll get lots of sun earlier in the day. they also like a drink about once a week, theyll survive on no water but they do much if they get a bit, especially for the first few summers until they get established.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 11:14AM
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Hi, I,m new to agapanthus but thrilled with fabulous tall deep blue flowers. I brought a large container from my local garden centre and had truly beautifull blooms. I now have green pods and wonder if I should leave them open in the kitchen on some kitchen towel to dry outor put them in a bag ans store till next spring ..any idea's or advice would be great.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 8:42AM
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