Big Blue

“Big Blue”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


For drama in the garden, you can not do better than a big clump of agapanthus.  These plants really punctuate a space.  Their large round clusters of various shades of blue or white flowers are airy but striking, growing as they do on three foot plus stems.  All they require is well-drained soil, sun, and a little fertilizer.  I have about five clumps of this Lily of the Nile spaced out along one long bed.  It looks like this fall I will have to divide a few of the clumps since they are getting so big.



These plants were gifts from my sister.  She has the most prolific garden.  Everything she grows seems to multiply like crazy, and I reap the benefits since she is so generous.  One good thing about getting these from her, besides saving money, is that the plants were so big.  They started blooming the first year I had them, not like the Elaine one I bought.



Elaine is a small, very dark blue agapanthus.  It took a few years for it to bloom, and when it did, the blooms did not really open up well; the flowers just kind of hang down.  I just read in our local paper yesterday that the reason for this is that the sheath that covers the flower head doesn’t properly split open and fall to the side to allow the flower buds to open in a round ball.  You are supposed to gently pull the sheath apart and down to the sides to free up the flowers to open.  I don’t know if I will be able to do try this because I divided my clump of Elaine in the fall, and she may not bloom this year.


In the mean time, I will enjoy the ones that are blooming now.


  1. Nancy Bond said,

    June 8, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    I am really becoming a huge fan of blue in the garden — and these are lovely.

  2. Jan said,

    June 9, 2008 at 6:55 am

    I, too, am a fan of a true blue color in the garden. When I first started gardening, I was often disappointed by a description of a flower that stated it was blue, and it turned out to be in the purple family. Now, I have learned to be a little skeptical until I actually see the bloom.

  3. Phillip said,

    June 9, 2008 at 8:35 am

    I just dug up a huge clump of these because they wouldn’t bloom for me. Maybe I acted in haste. I put them in containers (I heard they like to have their roots crowded?) and still have some left over. I was amazed at how they had multiplied.

  4. Jan said,

    June 9, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Phillip, I think these have to be a fairly good size to bloom. The first ones my sister gave me did not bloom for several years. I thought maybe they were not getting enough sun, but the ones she gave me two years ago that were very large, bloomed the first spring. The original ones started blooming when they got to be large, so I don’t think it was the sun. I have read the same thing about the roots needing to be crowded, but maybe it is just that the plant needs to be big to bloom.

  5. Randy said,

    June 9, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Okay, this is pretty wild. We’ve just decided to start a collection of agapanthus this past month and today, you are the third person that has said to gently pull the sheath to the side to allow them to open. I just find that unusual that I would the same thing three times today. I’m certain there is some sort of message there for me. At least now, I know not to be disappointed if ours doesn’t bloom next year. Thanks for the tips Jan. 🙂

  6. Jan said,

    June 9, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Well, Randy, maybe we all had the same problem with our agapanthus and read the same article this weekend. Your are right that it is amazing when things keep showing up all over. Maybe the universe is trying to make sure we get that info. I was glad to find out that tidbit of info because I had been so disappointed in Elaine looking like it was wilted. The article I read said that they think it has something to do with high heat causing the sheaths not to split. I am sure it won’t be too long before your agapanthus blooms. It is worth the wait.

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