Tuesday, 10 May 2016
This past summer my Agapanthus praecox put up a beautiful show and the more I stole the flowers for vases, the more they produced.
This species makes excellent cut flowers. Cut flowers, whether purchased from the florist or cut from your own garden, will last much longer in the vase if the vase been cleaned with hot soapy water to eliminate bacteria and fungi and then rinsed thoroughly. Normally one would remove lower leaves from the stem so there will be none in the vase water, but Agapanthus have beautiful long, leafless stalks, making it an ideal flower for the vase.
Flowers are living things, and like us they need food for proper growth and healthy colour, especially in a vase, so do se a commercial flower preservative. You can also add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or bottled "Real Lemon," 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a 1/4 teaspoon of bleach in a quart of warm water. Add another 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to the vase every 4 days.
This evergreen indigenous species comes from the winter rainfall Western Cape and all-year rainfall Eastern Cape and shed a few of their old outer leaves every year and replace them with new leaves from the apex of the growing shoot. The deciduous species comes from the summer rainfall Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Free State, Lesotho, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Mozambique, and grow rapidly in spring with the onset of the rains, and then lose their leaves completely and lie dormant during winter.
Family: Agapanthaceae (Agapanthus family)
Common names: common agapanthus, blue lily (Eng.); bloulelie, agapant (Afr.); isicakathi (Xhosa); ubani (Zulu)