African Lily (Agapanthus africanus) Indoor Care, Propagation, Problems and Solutions


Agapanthus africanus commonly called African Lily or Lily of the Nile bears large round heads of beautiful tubular flowers on long stalks which appear in succession through out the growing season.

Lily of the Nile bears strap-like leaves about 1 ft long and ball-like flower heads which are about 3-8 in. in diameter.

African Lily is a large plant which is propagated by means of the underground rhizomes and requires a large space to grow. The plant prefers to be pot-bound as it blooms best when pot-bound.

African lily, Agapanthus africanus

Botanical name: Agapanthus africanus
Family: Armaryllidaceae
Common names: African Lily, Lily of the Nile

Origin

Agapanthus africanus is native to the area of Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

Size

African Lily is fast growing and grows to a height of up to 2-3 ft and about 2 ft wide. The strap-like leaves are about 1 ft long.

Colors

The main flower color in African Lily is blue but there is a white-flowered cultivar, Albus. It also has varieties that are pink and violet.

Toxicity

All parts of African Lily (Agapanthus africanus) are poisonous to both human and pets, especially the rhizome or root, leaves and sap.

If ingested it may cause nausea vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, with severe ulceration of the mouth from the clear sticky sap.

Contact with the plant sap may cause a burning sensation, skin irritation and rashes. Keep the Lily of the Nile away from the reach of children and pets and always wear gloves when handling it.

Where to Buy

Are you looking to add this beauty to your collection? Check them out on Etsy.

Agapanthus africanus Care Indoors

African Lily (Agapanthus africanus) prospers in bright light with some direct sunlight and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with fortnightly feeding during the growing season.

Agapanthus africanus has no need for high humidity. It requires pruning to keep it neat, to minimize pests and diseases and to rejuvenate growth.

Repotting is necessary only when the plant becomes extremely pot-bound as it blooms best when slightly root-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

African lily, Agapanthus africanus

Watering

Water African Lily thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moist through out.

Cut down on watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not let the soil dry out completely as it can lead to wilting and leaf drop.

Ascertain that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and death of the plant.

Light Requirements

African Lily grows best in bright light with at least 4 hours of sunshine per day to promote flowering.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that the Lily of the Nile receives light on all sides for even growth.

Agapanthus africanus can also grow under grow lights where the natural lighting is not sufficient. Check out these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Temperature and Humidity

Average room temperature between 16-270C is ideal for African Lily. Keep it away from draughts as they cause sudden changes in temperatures which negatively affect growth.

Average room humidity is ideal for African Lily. It has no need for high humidity.

Fertilizer

Feed African Lily with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season to promote flowering.

Do not feed the Lily of the Nile during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding can result in fertilizer burn.

Pruning

Pruning African Lily involves removing dead blooms and leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy as well as discourage pest and disease infestations.

Cutback the stems at the base when they begin to shrivel to rejuvenate growth and also encourage a bushy growth.

Potting Soil

The best potting soil for African Lily should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for this plant. Buy quality Potting Mix from Amazon for the Lily of the Nile .

Repotting

Repot African Lily at the beginning of the growing season into a pot one size larger than the current one only when the plant becomes extremely pot-bound. It blooms best when slightly pot-bound.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining soil to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot. Check out these Pots with Multi Mesh Drainage Holes on Amazon.

Propagation

African Lily (Agapanthus africanus) can be propagated by plant division during repotting time at the beginning of the growing season.

How to propagate African Lily by plant division

During repoting, carefully divide the African Lily rhizome into sections while ensuring each section has adequate roots and some leaves.

Pot these sections in individual pots. Ensure that the pots have a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining soil to prevent the soil from becoming soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place and maintain the soil moist thorough out.

Allow the new Lily of the Nile to be well established before transplanting after which can begin routine care.

African lily, Agapanthus africanus

Agapanthus africanus Problems

African Lily (Agapanthus africanus) problems include droopy wilting leaves, lack of blooms, yellow leaves, pests and diseases. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Wilting and droopy leaves

Underwatering is the cause of wilting and droopy leaves in African Lily. Water the plant liberally during the growing season and maintain the soil consistently moist.

Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

No blooms

The are four possible reasons why African Lily will not to flower. One possible reason is too little light as it blooms best when grown under bright light with at least 4 hours of sunshine per day.

Position the Lily of the Nile in bright light with at least 4 hours of sunshine per day or instal a grow light where natural lighting is not adequate.

The second possible reason why African Lily is not flowering is feeding it with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer which promotes foliage growth at the expense of flowering.

Feed the Lily with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season to promote flowering.

The third possible reason why African Lily is not blooming is underwatering. Water the plant thoroughly during the growing season and keep the soil moist through out.

However, decrease watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist and ensure that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole.

The fourth possible reason why African Lily is not blooming is too frequent repotting.

Repot Agapanthus africanus only when it is extremely root-bound as it blooms best when root-bound. Repotting every 2-3 years is adequate for this plant.

Leaves turning yellow

Naturally, the older leaves of African Lily turn yellow; cut away the yellow leaf at the base to keep the plant neat and tidy.

Excessive yellowing of the leaves is due to soggy soil. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.

Take out the plant from its pot and inspect the roots for root-rot disease. Mushy brown roots are indicative of root-rot disease. Read on how to treat root-rot disease in houseplants.

Pests

The common pests in African Lily are Mealy Bugs and Aphids. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil to get rid of the pests.

You liked it? Share on social media.

Recommended

Amazon Associates Disclosure


Homeplantsguide.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.