How to Propagate Agapanthus by Seed

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Agapanthus, also known as lily of the Nile, is an attractive perennial popular for its large and showy flower clusters. This flower comes in varieties that range from violet to almost white. Most gardeners propagate agapanthus by root division, but they can also be started from seed. It requires quite a bit of patience, but propagating agapanthus from seed is inexpensive and many gardeners find it rewarding to see the seeds they planted eventually become flowering beauties in their garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Agapanthus seeds
  • Planting containers
  • Pea-sized gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Garden spade
  • Harvest agapanthus seeds in late fall after the seed pods become brown. Keep them in a dry location indoors until the pods split open. Remove the seeds and store in a cool, dry place until early spring.

  • Choose the right location in your home to place the planting containers. Agapanthus seeds germinate more quickly in an area that receives at least six hours of full sun with temperatures that range from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Prepare planting containers four to six weeks before the last expected frost in your area. To ensure proper drainage, add a few pea-sized gravel pieces to the bottom of the containers before filling with a good quality potting soil. Make sure that the soil you choose does not have added fertilizer, as soil that is too rich will result in spindly seedlings.

  • Sprinkle agapanthus seeds on top of the soil and add 1/4 inch of the potting mixture on top. Add water slowly, taking care not to push the seeds too deeply into the soil.

  • Water regularly, whenever the top layer of soil begins to look dry.

  • Thin the seedlings if they begin to crowd one another for space.

  • Transplant the new agapanthus into a sunny, well-drained location once they have developed their first set of true leaves. Continue watering the plants regularly to make sure that they develop a healthy root system to see them through their first winter outdoors.

Tips & Warnings

  • It can take from three weeks to three months for agapanthus seeds to germinate.
  • It takes three to four years for the first flowers to appear on agapanthus that have been started from seed.
  • If your area experiences extremely hot summers, choose a location in partial shade when transplanting the flowers to your garden.
  • Agapanthus does very well when grown in a container.

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