Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: May 1, 2008

Midknight Blue® Lily-of-the-Nile
Agapanthus x 'Monmid'

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Species Native Range: South Africa
Hardiness: USDA Zones (6)7-11
Mature Size: foliage 24 inches tall and wide, flower stalks to 4 feet
Exposure: Full sun
Soil: Rich to average, but very well-drained or sandy
Drought Tolerance: Excellent
Ease of Culture: Easy
Miscellaneous: Deer resistant

When I lived in California, Agapanthus was a landscape stable with its evergreen 1-inch strap-like leaves and globe-like cymes of blue (white or pink) flowers atop 3-4 foot stems in the summer. These plants could take heat, drought and even survive being burned as one neighbor discovered. What they couldn't withstand was cold weather and often died in temperatures below about 25 degrees. I tried unsuccessfully for years to grow Agapanthus here, even digging and storing the tubers over the winter.

Along comes the cultivar Midknight Blue® (yes, that's the correct spelling) which is advertised as being able to withstand temperatures to -10 degrees. So, I'm planting a fresh crop of these directly into the garden to see how well they'll perform. In zones 8 and warmer, these plants were definitely evergreen. However, I do not know if they will remain evergreen in zones 6 and 7. In any case, those deep dark blue flowers are worth the effort.

Plant MB Agapanthus in full sun in average to rich garden soil. Good drainage is key. The roots (tubers) will rot if they are grown in poorly draining, compacted soil or clay. These plants will perform extremely well in the sandy soils of southern Georgia and Florida.

Grow MB Agapanthus in a mixed shrub/perennial bed, cottage, rock or cutting garden. Although the foliage remains at about 2 feet, the flower stalks can shoot up to 3-4 feet tall, so plan(t) accordingly. Good companion plants include ornamental herbs (Agapanthus is NOT edible), roses, hardy succulents and cacti, conifers (especially those with golden foliage) and other full sun, drought tolerant plants. They also grow well in containers.


Although I have seen this plant for sale at these nurseries, I cannot guarantee that they will have it in stock at the time of this publication.

Pike Nurseries
Buck Jones Nursery: Grayson & Woodstock

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