Agapanthus in LA Area

Southern California, CA

I live in Northridge CA and for 10+ years have quite a few Agapanthus (A) in back yard. Last year the A. didn't bloom very well. I searched DG and did not find answers to these questions. If I overlooked a place that answers these questions, please let me know. Thanks!!

1. Do you cut back all the leaves of the Agapanthus (A) annually? Spring? Autumn? or do you leave the leaves alone?
2. Do you dig up and transplant A.? How often?
3. If you dig up and transplant the A., how far apart do you re-plant them?
4. How long does the re-planted A., take to fill in?
5. Do you fertilize? What type?
6. Any other helpful hints you have learned about growing A. will be greatly appreciated!!

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

If your agapanthus didn't bloom, it MAY be because they aren't in enough sun OR, they may just need to be divided. They bloom best in full sun. Where you are, some afternoon shade would probably be good since Northridger gets pretty hot.

You didn't mention if you have the traditional lg. A's or the dwarf varieties...either way, the culture is the same.

In reference to your questions:

1.)Normally you don't need to cut back the foliage of A's. They're an evergreen perennial here. They do sometimes suffer frost damage if we have cold snaps. Some people DO cut them back just to clean them up and give them a fresh start in the spring but it isn't necessary. Once they're established you can hack them back and they'll regrow...they just look awful in the interim.

2.) When the clumps get huge and have an empty space in the center that usually means they need to be dug up and divided. IF you're going to divide the clumps and replant them, then yes, I would cut the foliage back...it will just wilt and get ugly in no time.

3.) A's are pretty indestructable. The closer you plant them together, the faster they'll fill in. They're pretty hard to kill or mess up on.

4.) Ususally you don't need to feed them...they bloom fine w/o additional food, but it won't hurt them if you do. Any balanced complete plant food will do.

Southern California, CA

JasperDale: Thank you so much for your reply. The A. had been blooming nicely for about 7-8 years, so the sun and shade levels seem to be fine. I have both dwarf and regular A. and both varieties didn't bloom much last year. When I read that they die back to the ground in some climates, I wondered if I should be cutting the leaves back every year.

As soon as the rain stops, then, I will be dividing, cutting back foliage, planting rather close together so they fill in quicker, feeding them a little balanced food and thanking you for the A+ Agapanthus Advice!!

I hope I have more energy than I think I do ;-)

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Just be forewarned that when you cut the foliage on A's, they have this slimey sticky juice that oozes out of the leaves.
If you're going to trim the foliage, pull it off at the base of the clump. Cutting the tips of the foliage just leaves a squared off blunt cut and tip won't grow back.

Southern California, CA

jasperD: Good idea to pull the leaves and not cut to help avoid the dreaded ooze.

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