A PLANT OF SPECTACULAR FLOWERS VERY EASY TO CULTIVATE IN A DRY GARDEN: AGAPANTHUS
it is not the first time that we speak of agapanthus, nor will it be the last. We love these plants for many reasons: they have an impressive flowering and especially decorative foliage, multiply very easily and grow well without too many demands. Its flowers appear right now, between the end of spring and the beginning of summer, producing blue, lilac or white spheres, inflorescences that sparkle in the garden or in pots for several weeks. At home, we grow them in two areas: on a small piece of garden soil and on a terrace pot. On both sides, they work very well without asking too much in return.
The agapanthus comes from Africa, its scientific name is Agapanthus africanus, although it takes several different vernacular names (or common): agapanthus, African lily or flower of love. Flower of love is the literal translation of the name of the genus, of Greek origin: agape, which means love, and anthos, which means flower. The agapanthus has long and fleshy leaves gathered in dense groups of perennial or deciduous foliage according to the variety. The floral stems appear from the center of the foliage and lengthen to reach considerable lengths that easily exceed one meter in height. At the top end open flowers that last a good season.
Agapanthus is a plant that requires good doses of sunlight, but if we are in a very hot region, such as the Mediterranean, direct exposure can be excessive and burn the leaves. My experience is that in full sun, at the slightest carelessness of irrigation, the leaves spoil; but if the plant is well hydrated, it does not give problems. If you do not want to take a risk, you can always place it in a semi-shade, where it will develop well, although perhaps it will flourish a little less.
The watering of the agapanthus should be moderate and in the spring it will be grateful that the substrate remains moist but without stagnations. We water 2 or 3 times a week according to the temperatures, increasing the frequency as summer approaches. Just now, almost in summer and coinciding with the beginning of flowering, it is advisable to increase the doses of water to prolong the production of flowers. At this point and during the next two months we will need almost daily watering. To save water, you can choose to spread a summer mulch, a method used to maintain soil moisture.
And speaking of soil, the agapanthus adapt very well to different types of substrates but prefer slightly clayey soils, which retain moisture but are permeable and drain well. In terms of temperatures the agapanthus prefers warm temperatures and below 5ºC below zero, they lose leaves and even endanger their rhizomes. They are native plants of South Africa where they grow between the cracks of the cliffs forming a spectacular landscape.
Although there are white, lilac and even some pink variety, blue is the most common color of the agapanthus, a cold color that in the garden provides a calm, serene environment. Planted in mass remember the gentle waves of the sea, although they can also be grown in large pots on the balcony, patio or terrace. The flowers of agapanthus are not at all delicate, very rarely suffer diseases and are very easy to take care of.