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Family amaryllis, subfamily agapanthus. The taxonomy was changed in 2013 to a total of 7 species, see the World Checklist of Plant Families (WCSP - controlled by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew).
Agapanthus comes from South Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique). Translated from Greek, Agapanthus means a love flower. Despite the fact that agapanthus is classified as Amaryllis (you cannot argue with phylogenetic analysis), it does not have bulbs as such. Sometimes in the basal neck, a thickening of the stem is observed, but no more.
Agapanthus Africanus Agapanthus africanus is a perennial herb with a powerful rhizome and ribbon-like, long leaves up to 50 cm long. It blooms all summer until late autumn. A blue inflorescence rises on a high arrow. Popular varieties: 'Albus' - with white flowers, 'Sapphire' - with dark blue flowers, 'Aureus' - with variegated leaves (yellow stripes), 'Variegatus' (leaves are almost completely white with small green stripes), etc.
Agapanthus bellflower Agapanthus campanulatus or African bellflower is a perennial herbaceous species, rather large - 80-100 cm in height and up to 50 cm in the spread of basal leaves. The narrow, belt-shaped leaves of some forms are evergreen. Umbrella inflorescences on erect peduncles. The flowers are funnel-shaped in the original species, lilac-blue. Variety 'Isis' - lavender-colored flowers, variety 'Albus' - white flowers, variety Variegatus - miniature variegated variety (creamy, almost white stripes).
Agapanthus blooms in summer, while tall inflorescences need to be tied to a support, otherwise they will break from the wind.
Agapanthus is unpretentious and easy to care for, therefore it is very popular in Europe, USA (California), New Zealand - in the open field it grows in 9-11 climatic zones, with a maximum shelter it can withstand up to -5 ° C. In some regions it is recognized as an invasive plant, it is considered a weed. This plant is described in the catalog of indoor flowers, for the reason that it can be grown as a greenhouse plant - all year round in flowerpots or tubs. It is only important to provide a cool room for the winter for deciduous species. Just store the bulbs in the basement or on the insulated balcony.
It blooms better in sunny places, although it also tolerates shade easily. Agapanthus is good for decorating spacious light halls, balconies and stairs. With good care, large tubular specimens bloom from 20 to 200 umbrellas of light blue inflorescences during flowering.
Temperature: Normal in summer, preferably moderate, about 22-24 ° C, does not like the scorching hot sun. In winter, be sure to cool 10-15 ° С, at least + 6 ° С (plants in pots require a warmer winter than those planted in open ground).
Lighting: The plant is light-requiring, prefers a certain amount of sunlight, you can put a flowerpot on the south and south-west side with shading during the hottest hours from 11 to 15 hours. Agapanthus tolerates a semi-shady location, but at the same time it blooms poorly and reluctantly.
Watering: During the growing season, especially in hot weather, watering is quite abundant, with drying of the top layer of the earth. Do not leave water in the pan after watering. As soon as it gets colder, watering is rare, after thorough drying. In winter, the bulbs are kept dry. When stored in a heated room in winter, agapanthus does not shed its leaves, depriving itself of a dormant period. In this case, it needs to be watered as needed, avoiding strong root drying.
Agapanthus is sensitive to excessive watering. With an excess of moisture in the soil, the leaves turn yellow and fall off, so they must put drainage in the pot, and pieces of charcoal can be added to the soil
Fertilization: From May to August, they are fed with special mineral fertilizers for bulbous plants, every 2 weeks. You can use organic matter, but in moderation.
Air humidity: Agapanthus does not need to be sprayed, you can wipe the leaves with a sponge or rinse the leaves under the shower to wash off the dust.
Transfer: Does not need to be transplanted until the time comes to divide the bush or until the plant begins to protrude from the tub, as it were - does not like spacious pots. On average, a transplant is obtained in 3-4 years. It is advisable not to cut or damage the fleshy rhizomes during transplantation (it does not bloom for a very long time after that). Soil - 2 parts of sod, 2 parts of humus, 2 parts of leafy soil and 2 parts of fine gravel (you can zeolite granules, vermiculite). Good drainage is a must.
Agapanthus grows well only on slightly acidic and acidic soils, the admixture of lime in water and soil leads to alkalization of the soil, therefore, when a white crust or plaque appears on the surface of the earth, the top layer of the earth is replaced with fresh soil. And water for irrigation is used well filtered, rain or boiled
Reproduction: By dividing the bush, rhizomes (after flowering, blooms every 5-6 years) and seeds. Divide the rhizomes in the spring, with the beginning of growth, you need to cut off a piece of rhizome with green growth and plant it in a small pot. After planting, shade the agapanthus for the first two days, water it sparingly. Flowering can be expected in 2-3 years.
Of the plant pests, agapanthus is most susceptible to attack by scale insects and spider mites. At the same time, the leaves turn pale, turn yellow and dry out. If any pest is found, you need to wipe the leaves on both sides with a soapy sponge for mechanical cleaning of the pests or removing the cobweb. Then spray the plant with Actellik 0.15% (1-2 ml per liter of water). So that the solution hits the leaves on both sides. In the garden, agapanthus can be eaten by snails and slugs.
Agapanthus does not bloom
If the agapanthus does not want to bloom, make sure that it is not planted in too large a bowl. Secondly, remember if there was an excess of nitrogen fertilizers, from an excess of humus in the soil or feeding with a large dose of organic matter, agapanthus grows a leaf mass, but does not bloom. An excess of fertilizer also leads to rotting of the bulbs. Another reason for non-flowering is the deep planting of the bulbs, they should protrude at least a third above the soil surface. The lack of cold wintering is also bad for flowering.