Agapanthus

(Images provided by AFIF)

 

Commonly referred to as the Lily of the Nile (though it is not a lily, nor was it found near the Nile River), the Agapanthus is a flower that is a world favorite. Originally stemming from South Africa, this romantic flower can be found all over the world ranging from the United States, to England, to New Zealand and many other countries.

Although there is not much history on the agapanthus flower, we do know its name comes from two Greek words, agape and anthos, meaning love and flower. Therefore, this flower has been a symbol of love for many, many years. Another interesting fact about this flower is that it has a history of medicinal use within South African tribes. Mostly used for prenatal care and as a method to induce labor, this flower has been known to aid in troubles with heart disease, fevers, paralysis and more.

Easy to grow, the agapanthus flower still takes time to share its first bloom. If planted from a seed, they can take years before producing a flower. If planted from an existing plant, it can take up to 2 months for a flower to arrive. No matter what form of agapanthus you start with, after a flower is revealed they can produce copious amounts if properly cared for.

Agapanthus flowers thrive in the summer sun, so planting towards the end of spring may be your best bet for great results. Make sure to choose a spot that rewards the flower with plenty of sunlight throughout the day; and if planting straight in the ground try to find an area that will eventually aid the flower in standing up. The agapanthus can grow anywhere from 2-4 feet tall on heavy stems, so they will be grateful for the extra support.

Here are some additional tips on growing this exotic flower:

  • Feed the flower a rich fertilizer every couple of weeks in the summer.
  • Water this flower every week to two weeks in the spring and summer, depending on the temperature outside. Make sure to give it plenty of water to drink.
  • When planting more than one agapanthus, space them 10-12 inches apart. They are not afraid to claim their space!

If you are looking for a bouquet that uses this flower, it is not uncommon to have a hard time finding one. For many florists, this is not their flower of choice. But when it is used, it can make for a beautifully exotic bouquet.