Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Tropical Goes Hardy



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...



11 comments:

That Bloomin' Garden said...

I love the blues of Agapanthus! I love the hardy one.It does well here too.

Tom Barrett said...

beautiful flowers! not sure why they would be detested, unless like you said, people have them everywhere in some places. But I would guess that those who detest them for that reason don't like flowers anyway! : )

Greensparrow said...

How exciting! I've had a hardy white agapanthus for a couple years (and I LOVE it) but I didn't know there were any zone 5 hardy blue ones! I've got to have it... Maybe we could trade? My white one could be divided...

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

It IS funny how agapanthuseseses are so despised in some locales. Familiarity breeds contempt. I couldn't be contemptuous about any blue-flowered plant, though. Not a chance. These are gorgeous, and only to be seen as containerized plants in my neck of the woods.

Dirt Digger said...

Love the bloom color - always in search of blue - and it is funny how what we detest is so regional - here in NJ can't stand to see another Stella in front of a fast food joint.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I didn't know there was a hardy agapanthus. I killed some when I lived much further south in Zone 6. Obviously it wasn't this variety. Maybe it is one of those plants that have to get established before blooming. Any way, it is worth the wait. They are gorgeous.

Annelie said...

That indigo color is beautiful.
Didn't know some hydrangeas are leaf hardy, but not flower hardy. That might explain a thing or two in my garden.

Helen Lewis said...

That blue color is very deep and sharp. It is so unlike the ones we see here ofte which is almost like lavander. What variety did you plant?

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

All plants have their uses...well...except the weeds, so I wouldn't worry about agapanthus being like Stella! I would love to have some of that blue in my garden.

h&e said...

beautiful flowers

Kylee said...

That Bloomin' Garden ~ Yes, anything blue is welcome in my garden! :-)

Tom ~ I'm not a huge fan of Stellas, but I'm not opposed to using them in a garden. They're overused in many areas, but it's because they're such a performer! Petunias are enjoying a resurgence of popularity now, so Stellas will likely regain respect someday, too! Gardeners can be a fickle bunch. LOL.

Greensparrow ~ Hey! That's a very real possibility! Let's talk in the spring and for sure let's get together sometime then! :-)

jodi ~ Yes, that seems to be it. Fortunately, they aren't commonplace here. But I'm like you - any blue flower is welcome at Our Little Acre!

Dirt Digger ~ I hear you, but from the business owner's point of view, constant bloom is a good thing. What I don't like about the use of any daylilies is the fact that no one cleans them up! They aren't a no-care plant.

Lisa ~ I'm thinking the same thing, Lisa. It had to settle in before it deemed our garden worthy of its beautiful blue blooms! ;-)

Annelie ~ I learned that about hydrangeas on one of the gardening shows. I can't remember which one now, but it explained a couple of hydrangeas in my own garden, too!

Helen ~ I think it's simply 'Hardy Blue' but I'm not positive. I can't locate the plant tag just now. For a color reference, this is exactly the same color as my Gentiana dahurica - a deep, true blue. Gorgeous!

Dave ~ For sure you could grow these, Dave!

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