Pan is absolutely incredible in the garden and I am not
talking about sandwich with jelly either. I am talking
about Peter Pan, the compact or dwarf lily of the Nile
that is packed with a ton of flower power.
will confess I have always been passionate about
Agapanthus or Lily of the Nile but I always went for the
big selections. Even the name Peter Pan just didnít
ring my bell, so to speak. Now however as I look across
a sea of blue next to our water garden and I feel so
guilty that I never gave them the spot they so deserved.
name Agapanthus comes from the Greek words
"agape" for love and "anthos" for
flower. Growing it will likely generate an agape-type
feeling for the plant. Commonly called Lily of the Nile,
or African lily, the botanical name, Agapanthus
africanus, refers to its origin.
africanus has been in the United States the longest, and
it is actually considered an heirloom plant. Then there
are Agapanthus praecox, Agapanthus campanulatus and
hybrids that lead to much arguing among taxonomists over
the correct names of the various cultivars. Stay
out of the argument and simply grow them.
the variety Peter Pan causes arguments. These small
plants reach about 10 to 12 inches in height then sends
up a bounty of 12 to 18-inch tall stalks of those
glorious light blue, globe-like blossoms. There are more
flowers on these pint sized plants than you ever
imagined, and they just keep coming.
references suggest Lily of the Nile is cold hardy to
zone 7. Some varieties are evergreen and some are
deciduous. Many of the evergreens can lose their leaves
in the winter and still put on a show for summer if the
temperature did not get too cold. Peter Pan dies to the
ground in zone 7, semi-evergreen in zone 8 and evergreen
in zone 9. We got to 18 at the Coastal Georgia Botanical
Gardens, and it didnít flinch.
Agapanthus is in the Amaryllis family. While the plant
is listed in bulb books, it is really produced on
rhizomes, which are thick, modified stems that grow
below the soil. The globe-like blossoms, called umbels,
may have as many as 20 to 100 flowers, depending on
variety and species blooming from mid-May into July.
with most of our plants, soil preparation plays a vital
role in successfully growing the Lily of the Nile. The
rhizomes can rot in wet soils. Prepare the bed by
incorporating from 3-4 inches of organic matter and sand
and till to a depth of 8-10 inches. This soil
preparation will allow maximum drainage and aeration,
and will increase its chances of surviving winter. Be
sure and apply mulch.
you live in a colder region, try what gardeners in Great
Britain do. Store the deciduous types in the garage or
cellar where it is dark and temperatures remain above
freezing. Do not water. Place evergreen types in cool,
lighted areas and water occasionally.
blooming occurs in full sun, so choose a site that
receives six to eight hours of sun. Feed with a balanced
fertilizer or a 1-2-1 ratio in the spring and again in
a plant as beautiful as the Lily of the Nile, there are
numerous ways it can be used in the landscape. You could
not ask for a better companion with yellow or orange
daylilies and or similarly colored canna lilies. Try
them as a patriotic companion with Knock Out roses. No
matter your style you are sure to have an area around
your home that would be more beautiful if you added the
Lily of the Nile.