Agapanthus are popular across Australia. The winning combination of their bold flowers and easy care nature mean that just about everyone can find a spot for them in their garden. Agapanthus were introduced into Australia from South Africa and with more and more varieties now available, they have almost become a symbol of summer with their long lasting displays continuing right throughout the warmer months.
Agapanthus are clump forming and have long fleshy leaves. Large flowers are produced on flower stems that usually sit high above the foliage. Agapanthus are known for their blue, purple or white flowers with a range of stripes and interesting variations now widely available. Blue is a great colour for the summer garden as it can add a touch of peace and calm at a time when many other plants are struggling with the heat and not looking their best.
If you’re looking for something that will stand up to hot and dry conditions then look no further. Agapanthus are often described as indestructible and are happy in the hot afternoon sun. They thrive in rockeries and when planted alongside hot surfaces such as driveways, paths and paving.
Dwarf Agapanthus for Summer
‘Baby Pete’ is a great variety bred here in Australia and well suited to our conditions. It is a dwarf agapanthus that reaches a height of around 40cm when in full flower. The sky blue blooms are lovely and are set off by mid green foliage. Its height makes ‘Baby Pete’ ideal for garden edging and borders as it means it won’t block the view to anything else in the garden bed. A row of ‘Baby Pete’ is a cheery and welcoming addition along a path or driveway and will create vibrant colour impact over the summer period.
Many Agapanthus are quick to self-seed and as such this genus is often listed as an invasive weed, quickly escaping into neighbouring reserves and bushland. A big bonus with the dwarf ‘Baby Pete’ is that it is a sterile variety that doesn’t set seed so there is no need to worry about upsetting native habitats.
Agapanthus have fleshy roots that store water and nutrition making it well set up to survive dry periods. They also perform well in poor soils and prefer cramped conditions so make a great choice for those of us who lack green thumbs. Forever versatile, agapanthus will also perform just as well in containers as they do in the ground.
New Agapanthus Varieties
Two other new varieties to look out for are Agapanthus ‘Goldstrike’ and ‘Golden Drop’. ‘Goldstrike’ has striking blue and white striped flowers that are held tall above the foliage on unusual dark stems. This variety also has interesting foliage that is green and golden in its tones.
‘Golden Drop’ is an elegant looking smaller variety. Its ultra compact size makes it ideal for containers, filling gaps in rockeries and for small garden beds. ‘Golden Drop’ puts on a display of sky blue flowers over the summer that sit just above its narrow green and silver foliage.
If you’re partial to white agapanthus, keep an eye out for the new ‘Perpetual Peace’. This variety has an extended flowering season of October right through to May. It shares the same easy care nature as its blue counterparts. Flowers are held high on stems of around 60cm above the ground.
To make the most of your agapanthus display, remove the old flowers as they come to an end. It’s best to remove the whole flower stem as this keeps the plant tidy and also encourages further new blooms.
Further details on these varieties can be found at www.pma.com.au