AGAPANTHUS 'Blue Umbrella'
Plant Common Name
African Lily, Lily-of-the-Nile
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.
AHS Heat Zone
12 - 3
USDA Hardiness Zone
7 - 11
H1, H2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m
1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m
Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
Sharp or Has Thorns