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Agapanthus orientalis Blue, commonly known as the Lily of the Nile, is a popular ornamental plant that is widely grown in New Zealand gardens. This plant belongs to the Agapanthus family and is native to South Africa. It is a versatile plant that is well-suited to a wide range of growing conditions, making it an excellent choice for gardeners in New Zealand. It has a long and fascinating history - first introduced to Europe in the 17th century and quickly became popular as an ornamental plant. Since then, it has been cultivated and hybridized extensively, resulting in a wide range of cultivars with varying flower colours, sizes, and shapes.

It is a perennial plant that grows up to 1 meter in height. It has long, strap-like leaves that are dark green in colour and form a clump around the base of the plant. The flowers are borne on long, sturdy stems and are typically blue in colour, although they can also be white or purple. It is a versatile plant that can be used in a wide range of garden settings. It is ideal for mass plantings, mixed borders, or as a specimen plant. It is also well-suited to coastal gardens, where it can tolerate salt spray and windy conditions.



Agapanthus orientalis Blue is a hardy plant that is relatively easy to care for. It prefers a sunny location with well-draining soil but can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay and sandy soils. It is also tolerant of drought, making it an excellent choice for low-water gardens.



It prefers to be kept moderately moist, but it is essential to avoid overwatering, as this can cause the roots to rot. During the summer months, water the plant deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions.



Agapanthus orientalis Blue benefits from regular feeding during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks to promote healthy growth and flowering.



Agapanthus is frost tolerant and can withstand temperatures down to -5°C. However, in colder areas, it is advisable to mulch around the base of the plant in late autumn to protect the roots from freezing.



Agapanthus orientalis Blue does not require regular pruning, but deadheading the spent flowers can encourage new blooms. Prune the stems back to the base of the plant in late winter or early spring to remove any damaged or dead foliage.



They can be propagated by division or from seed. Division is the easiest method and should be done in the spring. Lift the plant from the ground and separate the clumps into smaller sections, each with its own root system. Replant the sections in well-draining soil, making sure to keep them moist until they establish themselves.


Diseases and Pests

Agapanthus orientalis Blue is relatively disease-resistant, but it can be prone to fungal diseases if it is overwatered. It is also susceptible to aphids and mealybugs, which can be controlled with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.


Birds and Bees

They are not known to attract birds, but the flowers are an excellent source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.



If you are looking for a substitute for Agapanthus orientalis Blue, you might consider planting other cultivars of Agapanthus (plenty available generally), or other strappy-leaf plants like Arthropodiums or even Phormiums.

Agapanthus orientalis Blue


    • Evergreen: Yes
    • Flower colour: Blue
    • Mature size: 1m x 1m
    • Temperature: Hardy
    • Light: Sun/semi shade
    • Moisture: Medium, but prefers good watering
    • Soil: Well drained
    • Wind tolerance: Hardy


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