Agapanthus make fantastic patio plants and look particularly good grown in terracotta pots. Given a sunny spot and free-draining compost, they’ll start producing spectacular flowers in June, July or August, depending on the variety, and flower for many weeks.
Although agapanthus are drought-tolerant you’ll still need to water your pots at least a couple of times a week through the summer. They’ll also benefit from a high-potash liquid feed once a week to promote good flower development.
The benefit of growing agapanthus in pots is that it’s easy to bring the tender, evergreen types under cover in autumn, so they’re protected from winter cold and damp. An unheated greenhouse or conservatory is ideal for over-wintering them. The more hardy deciduous types can be left outside.
Watch Monty Don plant agapanthus in a pot, in this clip from Gardeners’ World:
You Will Need
- Terracotta pot
- Loam-based compost
- Horticultural grit
Fill a container with compost. Use a free-draining, loam-based compost, such as John Innes No. 2 or 3, with some coarse sand, horticultural grit or gravel mixed in.
Plant a single large agapanthus, or group several smaller ones together, fairly snugly, in a pot. Position the top of the roots about 5cm below the rim of the pot.
Fill around the roots with compost, firming it down to get rid of air pockets. Keep the 5cm gap at the top of the pot so that water can collect and won’t run off.
Water well to settle the compost, topping it up with more compost if needed. Add a decorative mulch to finish off the pot and help conserve moisture.
Place in a sunny spot. Very young plants may need a year to become established before they flower. Feed every two weeks with a high potash feed to encourage flowering, until mid-September.
After flowering, cut away the old stems at their base to tidy up the display and prevent the plants wasting their energy by producing unwanted seeds.
Restricting the roots
Young agapanthus plants like to have their roots restricted, so make sure the plant fits in snugly. After two years, repot the plants into slightly larger pots.