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AGAPANTHUS 'Blue Umbrella'

Image of Agapanthus 'Blue Umbrella'

Jesse Saylor

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

AGAPANTHUS 'Blue Umbrella'

Plant Common Name

African Lily, Lily-of-the-Nile

General Description

The Blue Umbrella lily-of-the-Nile is a dramatic tender perennial grown for its large sky-blue flower clusters borne on long stalks above clumps of grassy dark green foliage. Often listed as a variant of the South African Agapanthus praecox ssp.orientalis, it is actually a hybrid. Where hardy, it is best grown in the landscape but in colder climates it may be maintained as a container specimen if provided a large spacious pot. Bloom time is variable, depending on the local climate and water availability, but plants typically bloom in summer.

The long strap-like leaves of this tender perennial are medium green and produced in substantial clumps. Though technically evergreen, the foliage may die back until spring if plants are subjected to hard, but not killing, frost. Attractive rounded clusters of small, lily-like, violet-blue flowers are produced throughout the growing season. Each six-petaled bloom is trumpet-shaped. Bees pollinate the flowers and small seed capsules that turn from green to brown follow. Cut spent stems back to keep plants looking tidy and encourage further bloom.

Provide lily-of-the-Nile full to partial sun and soil that is fertile, well-drained and has a neutral pH. For best flowering, water regularly during the summer months, but keep plants drier through the winter months. Established plants will withstand substantial periods of drought. Specimens grown in containers or small garden spaces should be divided regularly as clumps tend to spread vigorously.

Lily-of-the-Nile is best planted as a groundcover, border specimen or container plant. It is quite carefree; pest and disease problems are few and deer do not feed on it. Where marginally hardy, grow in a sheltered spot and mulch in late autumn. Indoors, overwinter in a bright spot and water sparingly while the plant is dormant. Lily-of-the Nile grows well in containers, beds and borders; the umbels make dramatic cut flowers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Sky Blue, Blue Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No