Agapanthus (African lily or lily of the Nile) are some of the most beautiful and reliable summer plants you can grow. Ideal for pots and borders, they flower from July to September in shades that range from dark violet to blue and pure white.
Agapanthus originate from the cliffs of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, so they enjoy lots of sunshine and are naturally resistant to wind. They naturally grow in rocky nooks and crannies, so enjoy good drainage. Find out how to enjoy agapanthus flowers year after year.
There are two types of agapanthus – deciduous and evergreen. The deciduous types are fully hardy and can be grown in containers or borders in all parts of the UK. The evergreen types are not fully hardy, and are best given winter protection in colder areas. For this reason it is best to grow them in pots, so they be protected more easily.
Find out how to care for agapanthus, in our Golden Rules video:
Here are 10 beautiful agapanthus varieties to grow.
Agapanthus ‘Arctic Star’
This is the best hardy white variety for the garden. Bred in the UK, it produces lots of pure white flowers on strong stems. It reaches 90cm. ‘Arctic Star’ is deciduous but may keep its broad, grey-green leaves in milder areas.
Agapanthus ‘Brilliant Blue’
An excellent shorter-stemmed variety, with brilliant blue flowers. ‘Brilliant Blue’ reaches up to 60cm in height and is a good choice for borders. It’s deciduous and hardy.
Agapanthus ‘Golden Drop’
One of the best dwarf, variegated agapanthus, ‘Golden Drop’ has pale blue flowers. It reaches 30-40cm high. It’s an evergreen variety.
Agapanthus ‘Hoyland Chelsea Blue’
This recent introduction is one of the best blue evergreen varieties. It’s an elegant plant with large flowers on sturdy, 80cm stems. The leaves of ‘Hoyland Chelsea Blue’ have an unusual ridge.
Agapanthus ‘Little Dutch White’
‘Little Dutch White’ is an evergreen, tender variety with pure white flowers. Grow it in pots in the north, or in pots or in the border in milder areas; it reaches 60cm. ‘Little Dutch Blue’ has pale blue flowers with a dark blue stripe in the centre of the flower, and is shorter, reaching 45cm.
This hardy, deciduous variety is very floriferous, producing masses of powder-blue flowers. Agapanthus ‘Margaret’ is ideal in pots or in the border, where it will reach around 90cm.
Agapanthus ‘Midnight Dream’
‘Midnight Dream’ is an unusual, eye-catching variety with very dark purple, almost black flowers and strap-like leaves. It reaches about 70cm tall. It’s deciduous and very hardy.
Agapanthus ‘Midnight Star’
‘Midnight Star’ is one of the best dark blue varieties, with flowers around 12cm across. It reaches about 60cm high and is deciduous and very hardy.
Agapanthus ‘Silver Baby’
This dwarf variety has eye-catching white flowers that are flushed with blue. It reaches 30-40cm in height and is evergreen.
This evergreen variety from the Praecox group has unusual blue-purple flowers and reaches up to 80cm tall. It tends to be hardier than many evergreens.
Thanks to Steve Hickman of Hoyland Plant Centre for providing the information in this feature.