An Unwatched Pot

Last July, I bought this unnamed blue Agapanthus at one of the Crocus open days.

Dark blue Agapanthus flowers

In the autumn, I watched the seeds ripen and turn black, and collected them in an envelope, moving the parent pot into the greenhouse for the winter.  It happily survived our mild weather in the unheated greenhouse to push up new leaves, before I moved the pot back out into the garden for the summer, where it has been flowering for months.

Unripe agapanthus seeds on plant

Head of unripe Agapanthus seeds, September 2011

While it was slowly putting on new growth in May, I sowed some of the saved seed into a pot, topped it with a little grit, watered it and left it outside for the summer in a quiet corner.

Agapanthus seedlings

When I idly checked the pot last week, I was thrilled to find quite a few seedlings had germinated. Once they are a little bigger, I shall move them into separate pots, and in a few years we should have several Agapanthus, which I can plant directly into the borders without worrying so much about losing any to a severe or wet winter.


10 thoughts on “An Unwatched Pot

  1. Well done, you’ve inspired me to try some seeds of my agapanthus. They do flower more reliably in a pot, they like being squashed together. If you plant them our consider planting with some kind of restraint, as you would for a fig tree. Christina

    • Yes I’d heard that, so I was careful when I repotted our parent plant not to go up too much in size, and it flowered again this year quite happily. With a few plants to experiment with when they’re bigger, I can try different things and see how they fare here…

  2. It’s always so exciting when seedlings appear several months later after sowing. The ones that you do not keep a close eye on often fare better than ones that have been watched like a hawk. I wonder what colours the babes will be Sara.

  3. You can’t beat growing something yourself from seed or a cutting. There is such a sense of achievement. I’ve never grown Agapanthus before but I had heard, as Christine says, that they need a really restricted root run to flower. Think I’ve seen them growing wild though on the Isles of Scilly so it’s worth a try.

    • Yes I’ve heard before that they like to be slightly pot-bound to flower well, though have also seen them growing in borders supposedly unrestricted. I may experiment with these when they’re big enough to flower, and see what works for us.

  4. How exciting! BTW, I have read that lots of people just plant agapanthus in the pots they came in straight in the ground – apparently they can send out enough roots through the holes to get sustenance, but the restriction means they flower really well too. I plan on trying it myself, though if you can grow from seed too, I may need a lot of pots… Beautiful plants, and yours is a doozie with that deep blue.

    • That is a good idea, although I repotted mine into a clay pot from the plastic one it came in, so I’d rescue that first before plunging it pot and all into the ground… Yes the deep blue is lovely.

  5. I was going to suggest the same as Janet did in the above post – not that I have tried it. In fact I have recently replanted my own very rootbound agapanthus (which had ceased planting) into the open ground, after having hacked off a lot of the roots first. That may not have been the ‘right thing’ to do, but I always look on the positive side – and there is a garden down our lane with several established agapanthius clumps, so if they are successful then I have no doubts that I will too! Great to have your seedlings creeping up on you unexpectedly though – I bought a dwarf agapanthus (can’t remember the name without checking – ‘Tiny Tim’, maybe?) this year which was already in bud, so perhaps I will collect the seeds and have a go myself

    • They take a few years to flower from seed, I think, but the anticipation of watching them grow is rather lovely… With a few ‘spares’ I won’t feel so bad experimenting with growing them in the open ground either. Hope you have success with your seeds too.

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