Agapanthus (Star Of Bethlehem)

Agapanthus plants are perfect perennials which don’t need a lot of maintenance. These beautiful plants add a lot of structure and color into any garden, helping to bring out the beauty of neighboring plants, too.

Interested in growing your own Agapanthus? Here’s everything you need to know.

At A Glance: What You Should Know About Agapanthus

Part of the amaryllis plant family, the agapanthus (see also Flower Names Beginning With A) is a great perennial worthy of any garden, for its fantastic circular clusters of blue or purple flowers atop a long stem.

The foliage is usually curved, forming in basal-shaped leaves, each capable of reaching 60cm long.

Depending on the variety of agapanthus you choose, and the growing conditions, your agapanthus may reach as tall as 6.6 feet, which creates a spectacular display.

It’s worth planting agapanthus in a sheltered area, as while the stems are sturdy, they can be broken by high winds.

These plants are very robust to disease, drought, hot weather, and pests. You may also see them labeled the lily of the Nile, the African lily, or the love flower.

They come from South Africa, and have naturalized across the world.

There are many cultivars to pick, as these beautiful plants are easily hybridized. 

How To Care For Agapanthus

Agapanthus is fully hardy in USDA zones 9 through to 11, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow it in other zones, or that you have to treat it as an annual.

It will do well in most climates, provided that you give it well-draining soil, and at least some sunlight during the day.

While it will survive in wet soil for a time, it needs to mostly dry out for these bulbs to stay healthy. 

It will do best in full sunlight, but you can grow it in partial sunlight if that’s what you’ve got. 

Flowers in their first year may not demonstrate the full beauty of this plant, as the bulb won’t have fully established itself into the soil.

Water your agapanthus occasionally during the growing season, and hold off watering them at all during winter, as the plant dies back into the bulb and goes dormant.

They make great additions to mixed planting in containers or in borders, 

Possible Problems With Agapanthus

In some parts of the world, agapanthus is considered invasive, such as in New Zealand. Always check with your local authority before you introduce it into your garden to be safe.


Agapanthus is a tough plant, despite the delicate appearance of its flowers. Most garden pests tend to ignore this plant, and the biggest problem you may have is overwatering your agapanthus, causing it to rot.


As agapanthus plants are not related to the lily, they don’t have the same amount of toxicity. However, you need to be careful not to let anyone ingest the bulbs, or break the leaves, as both can cause issues.

Final Thoughts

Agapanthus plants are worthy of any garden. They provide plenty of height, structure, and color into any garden, both in containers and in the ground, while being resistant to pests and disease.

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