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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Agapanthus praecox subsp. orientalis
LILY OF THE NILE
syn. A. orientalis
Pronounced: ag-uh-PANTH-us or-ee-en-TAY-liss
Sunset zones 4-9, 12-21.
USDA zones: 7-10.
Heat zones: 12-7.
Height: 2 feet (60 cm).
Width: 3 feet (90 cm).
One-half inch to 1-inch blue flowers in large clusters, 6-8 inches wide, on 4 feet tall stalks.
Thick, wide, dark green leaves that turn a reddish tone in fall. The leaves are deciduous in the NW, evergreen in warmer climates.
Full sun to partial shade.
Although this agapanthus grows in many types of soil, it grows best in well-drained, leafy soil. See the article, How to Make Leaf Mold.
When plants become crowded and after they finish flowering, lift clumps and divide with a sharp shovel or knife. Discard any damaged portions and dead foliage, and replant.
Pests and Diseases:
Slugs and snails may be a problem.
Rainy Side Notes
Valerie Easton, a garden writer in the Pacific Northwest, once wrote, “I was so pleased with both the color and size of 'Storm Cloud' I don't see a reason to grow any other kind of agapanthus. I whole-heartedly agree. If you could grow only one, this would be the agapanthus of choice. This hybrid is a stunning addition to the garden. Hybridized in 1943 by Jimmy Giridlian of Arcadia, California, this handsome plant is drought tolerant, adding deep blue to purple flowers on top of four-foot stems to the garden during our typical drought season from July to September.
This plant is long lasting as a cut flower for the vase, and the blossom heads are excellent as dried flowers. The genus name, agapanthus, comes from the Greek words, agapao—love, and anthos—flower. Some parts of the plant are poisonous when ingested, and may cause allergic reactions or skin irritation when handled.
As with most agapanthus, grow the plant in well-drain soil and protrect from harsh winds.
Photographed at Wrights Nursery in Lynnwood, Washington.