Overwintering Agapanthus Africanus

threejen(Z6 NY)September 8, 2003

I believe this is a South African native, so I hope this is the right forum.

This plant is not quite hardy where I live, so I have been bringing it inside in the winter and putting it outside in the late spring when frosts are over. So far my results are not good.

The only time it has flowered for me (in three years) was the year when it flowered prematurely in the early spring before i had put it outside. Of course we did get to enjoy the glorious golden seedheads during the summer, but it would be lovely to see it bloom outside.

Today I can see that the plant (which has not flowered at all this year) was eaten right back to the pot by deer. I now have a lovely view of the tubers. This has not happened before but I'm trying to look on it as an opportunity for change.

I've read that this plant likes to be pot-bound. I've only potted on once, and I think that was the year it flowered. Should I divide up the root system into the 5 or 6 plants that appear to be there?

Should I overwinter it potted in soil (as I have done thus far), or as a bare root?

Any and all tips and suggestions on the above, plus fertilizing, watering etc, would be most welcome. So far this plant has not been worth the bother of maintaining it so I really need help!



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SAVeg(South Africa)

Our Agapanthus are planted outside here, and they get the miinimum attention. We get frost where temeratures fall to about 6°C, but this does not happen every day of winter though. The plants only get compost as fertilizer, and they get watered whenever they seem to be slightly stressed.
I would still overwinter it in the pot if I where you, don't just overwinter the bulbs. Maybe cutting back a little on the water given to the plants will stimulate them to flower.
Why don't you pot them in a nice looking pot and treat them as potplants, keeping them indoors permanently.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2003 at 1:11AM
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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

SAVeg, does it really only get to 6 degrees Celcius when you have frost? meaning that it never freezes?
Last winter was our first in this southwestern Oregon location. we live at 1500 ft elevation on the north slope of a 2500 ft mountain, and temps dropped to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (that's wayyy below freezing) for a solid week on our deck where my agapanthus spent the winter in 5-gallon containers. They overwintered well and bloomed profusely all of July and August, but i bet that it would have killed them if that cold spell lasted another few weeks. My plants have been in the containers a bit more than two years now, and are rather potbound but apparently happy.
All i know about New york's weather is that it gets much colder than here ... perhaps a good idea to post your question on the forum frequented by other New Yorkers, and ask if any of them has success with agapanthus. A. africanus is not regarded as a very cold tolerant plant.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2003 at 7:23PM
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