I don't know if Agapanthus is truly considered to be a tropical plant, but when you live in zone 5, it might as well be. I've admired its indigo blue blooms for some time now and purchased the warm climate ones when Lowe's carried them one summer a few years ago. I dug them each year in the fall and replanted them in the summer, then last year, they didn't do anything but sit in the ground. I forgot about them, then winter came and...well...you know.
But it doesn't matter - not really - because two years ago, when my friend Marsha and I visited the Toledo Botanical Gardens that fall, they had some hardy agapanthus for sale. When I see a plant like that tagged as hardy, I don't believe it until I do some checking on my own. I questioned the manager in the nursery there and while he couldn't attest to it personally, he showed me in their plant catalog where it was listed as being hardy to zone 5. Since the price was right, I bought them.
They came up last spring and I had beautiful strappy foliage all summer, but no blooms. Hmmm... Perhaps they were like some hydrangeas are - foliage hardy but not bloom hardy. Then this summer it happened. Flower stalks shot up and there were those beautiful blue blooms I fell in love with when I first saw Agapanthus.
I'm surprised at just how long the blooms last, too. Several weeks after they first opened up, they still looked good. I'm thrilled to have this perform as a perennial in my garden and I hope it multiplies in size as the years go by. The more, the better!
*Disclaimer: I know in some zones and locations that Agapanthus are detested, much as 'Stella d'Oro' daylilies are here. But when you don't see them everywhere you go - heck, you don't really see them anywhere much here - they're exotic. Stop laughing in southern Cali...