Love flower, Agapanthus - guide to care and overwintering

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Love flower - lily - Agapanthus

Over 1,000 varieties are cultivated today by the love flower. Its name derives from its botanical name Agapanthus, agape = love and anthos = flower. Often it is also called Schmucklilie. The specimen plant makes no great demands on the care. From the beginning of April to the autumn, she needs a sunny spot in the open air, in winter a not too warm winter quarter. A lush flowery is thanks.

Location & Planting Substrate

The home of the jewelry lily is the south of Africa, so they can not get enough sun. At the location she is undemanding. As a container plant it is satisfied at almost every place.
  • Sunny to full sun
  • Partial shade to shade: A few hours of sunshine daily
  • Commercially available potting soil
  • Permanent fertilizer, sand and clay soil admit
  • Apply gravel, expanded clay or lava split to the bottom of the pot as a drainage layer
The flowers of the love flower tolerate rain well. If it rains a lot and intensively, it is an advantage to remove faded single flowers. This prevents the rot. Evergreen varieties are considered windproof, others need a sheltered location, so that the flower stalks do not break in the wind. If the lily is too big in one location, or you need space for another plant - that's no problem for the love flower. Then simply reposition the container plant.
Tip: Put the plant in the sun rather than in the shade. In shady locations, their flower stalks seek the sun, meaning they grow towards the sun, which does not always look good. In addition, the colors of the flowers quickly fade in shady locations.

Solitaire or in groups?

Optically, the love flower with its long flower stems works best as a specimen plant. Also attractive is a small group of plants.


The lily is a very popular container plant, because it is very robust and easy to clean. An annual repot is not necessary. However, should the root ball slide slightly over the edge of the pot, the time has come for repotting. Although Agapanthus blooms the most when the planter is completely rooted, but if the plant is too narrow, it can no longer absorb enough water. Then she starts to take care and does not grow any further. The new bucket should be a little bigger than the old one. Thus, the jewelry lily can root through it faster. Usually the plant needs a rooster year to get used to their new home. It only shows its full flowering again in the season after repotting.
  • Repot in spring before rubbing
  • Put the root ball in a larger container
substrate: normal flower or plant soil
  • Good drainage on the bottom of the pot with or without saucer
  • Do not forget drainage layer
Tip: The ornamental lily flowers most beautifully when it can grow undisturbed. Only transplant the plant if the bucket is really too small. Do not use ceramic pots. Often the pot must be destroyed to get the plants out.

Planting in the garden

Planting in the garden is not recommended, as the lily is not hardy. In addition, her wet soil is causing problems: waterlogging is the biggest enemy of the love flower. If wet soil causes the root ball to freeze, the plant can no longer be saved. In individual cases, however, summer-green love flowers can survive milder German winters. Prerequisites are a very good water outlet, so a very permeable soil, a winter cover with mulch and a moisture protection.

Plant with tub

Love flower - lily - Agapanthus

Of course, ornamental lilies can be planted in the tub, but only as long as they are not cultivated in a wooden tub. Before the first frost, the plants should be dug up again and put into winter quarters.

Pouring & fertilizing

The water requirement of the love flower is rather modest. So she comes out even without water for two weeks. Although this does not pass the plant without a trace, it loses part of its leaves, but it recovers quickly after the dry period. Too much water damages the plant. Buckets, pots, but also coasters should always have vent holes.
When casting and fertilizing, the following should be considered:
  • Low water requirement, but pour regularly from April
  • Waterlogging is deadly for the plant
  • When repotting, add slow-release fertilizer or fertilize every four weeks from April to the beginning of August
  • Normal liquid fertilizer is sufficient
Tip: Wait until the next watering until the top layer of soil has dried well.

Leaves, flowers & growth

Agapanthus is a summer and evergreen plant, with evergreen varieties developing slightly larger leaves and flowers. The flowering time is short but intense. Their flower color ranges from white to blue to dark purple.Depending on the variety, the leaves may be completely green, white or striped.
  • Long, narrow leaves, between 20 and 100 centimeters
  • Ornamental-like, spherical flower
  • Flowers filled or unfilled
  • Flower color: white, purple, blue or dark purple - in all shades
  • Flowering period from July to mid-August
  • Almost no scent
  • Height: from 20 centimeters for balcony box to forms with 2 meter long flower stalks
Tip: For the "real" lily to blossom in your garden, buy it best flowering.

To cut

A back or shape cut does not need the Schmucklilie. Only the fragrant should be cut off, if possible before seed formation. This is how the plant puts its power into the formation of new flowers. Dried leaves are not cut off but torn off. For deciduous plants, not all dead leaves should be removed in the fall. The old leaves are a protection for the new shoots in spring.
Tip: The flowers are also pretty in the vase. Carefully cut off the long flower stems, their sap can cause stubborn stains on textiles.


Agapanthus is not frost resistant. When wintering the jewelry lily must be distinguished between summer and evergreen plants.
Evergreen lilies do not tolerate frost at all. The winter quarters must be dry and bright. The temperature should not exceed seven degrees Celsius. If the winter quarters are too warm, Agapanthus will not bloom as lushly after weaning.
Summer green love flowers lose their leaves in winter. You can therefore winter in the dark. However, with the onset of spring, when the sprouting season of the plant has come, it needs light. The winter quarters should be dry and cool as with the evergreen plants.
For summer and evergreen love flowers:
  • Keep the root ball dry
  • From November to March pour little or no
Do not fertilize during winter rest
  • Water regularly again from April
Even if the love flower is not very frost-resistant, it should soon come out again after the winter. If no more intense frosts are to be expected, the outdoor season can begin. If, contrary to expectations, frost still occurs, get the plant back into the house or protect it with a fleece. Under these conditions, the ornamental lily can already be placed outside at the beginning of April.

Love flower - lily - Agapanthus

To prevent the leaves from being burned by UV light, it is best to place the love flower on a shady spot after being weighed out. If the plant has become accustomed to the sun after one week, depending on the weather, it can move to its summer location.


As perennial Agapanthus is propagated by dividing or sowing seeds. When a plant is split, the cuts have the same characteristics as the original plant. If the cuts are split after a few years, they have the same characteristics as the original parts. In short, in the division, the properties always go back to the first, undivided, acquired plant.
Seedlings are pulled from the seed of the love flower. They are independent plants and have their own individual characteristics. They are quasi "children" who have more or less adopted the characteristics of the "parents".

Propagation by seeds

The propagation by seeds is not a problem, but needs patience, since the bloom of summergreen lilies sets in at the earliest after two, but usually after three to four years. Evergreen plants only blossom after five years and some large-flowered species only after six or seven. If blue and white varieties have stood together, the appearance can not be predicted, because not even the color can be predicted.
  • Harvest ripe seeds in the fall
  • Store dry and cool until spring
  • Sow at 15 degrees
  • Cover slightly
  • Germination after 2 to 4 weeks
  • After another 2 months, put seedlings in individual pots
  • Ensure dry and frost-free wintering
  • Repotting seedlings every year

Propagation by division

Propagation by division achieves faster results in terms of flowering. Old, large plant should necessarily be shared, as this stimulates their growth. In addition, sharing is like a makeover for the plants.
  • Cut root balls with a sharp knife
  • Share larger plants with ax or spade
  • Time: March to April
  • Put individual parts in suitable tubs
  • Carefully pour in the first few weeks
A release of the lily is not known. If it comes to seedling, they do not drive in the garden. Our winters are too cold for that.
Tip: Buy a seedling when it blooms to make the plant look the way you want. If you want to have the exact same Agapanthus as friends or neighbors, then the plant should be shared.

Diseases & pests

Pest infestation is not known in the Schmucklilie. Her sharp sap also keeps snails or mice away. She is very sensitive to waterlogging, she can even "kill" the sturdy plant.


Agapanthus is not intended for consumption, although the plant is not toxic in small amounts. You should be especially careful if the plant has injuries, for example cutting the flower stalks. The plant then secretes a mucous, saponin-containing fluid. This can lead to skin irritation and allergic reactions in humans. Direct eyes or mouth contact should be avoided. The sap leaves stains on clothing that are difficult or even impossible to remove. Therefore, pay attention to the right clothes when working with the love flower.

Worth knowing about the love flower

Love flower - lily - Agapanthus

Agapanthus has been gracing the gardens for centuries. Especially in the Baroque period, the plant could not be missing in any garden of castles or residences. Today, the island of Madeira is known for the Agapanthus flower. Many insects enjoy the bloom of the Schmucklilie, above all bumblebees love this plant.
With its long flower stems, the love flower makes a magnificent impression on the balcony or terrace. Depending on the variety, it carries umbellifers with many single flowers in a variety of shades from white to dark purple. The love flower develops strong, fleshy roots, so that it can withstand longer periods of drought. Waterlogging, however, does not tolerate it at all. So pots or tubs or their coasters must be provided with vent holes. Planting in the garden is not recommended because the lily is not hardy or frost resistant. Depending on the variety it hibernates bright or dark, in any case dry and not too warm. Agapanthus prefers to grow undisturbed, so the plant does not have to be repotted every year. The lily is non-toxic, but should not be consumed. When working with the plant, you should be careful. Her plant sap can not only irritate the skin, eyes or mouth, it also stains clothes that are not removable. Ecologically, it is a playground for many useful insects, especially bumblebees love the ornamental lily.

Video Board: How to plant Agapanthus: Jeff demonstrates how to grow Agapanthus in pots for Summer.

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