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African lilies (agapanthus), also known as love flowers, are a genus of the amaryllis family. They are available as evergreen and also as foot-shedding species. Her blue-white flowers grow at the end of long stalks that appear far taller than the actual, rather unassuming plant. That's why it hurts all the more when the love flower doesn't bloom. The causes of this can be determined relatively easily, but it often takes a lot of patience until the African lily starts to bloom beautifully again.
causes and solutions
There are various reasons why African lilies do not bloom. Luckily, investigating the cause of this behavior is relatively easy. The most common reasons for non-flowering are as follows.
- wrong location
- too big planter
- propagation by division
- wrong wintering
- Nutrient deficiencies in the fall
- Seed formation after flowering
If one or more reasons apply to the agapanthus, it takes a little patience until the measures take effect and the plant begins to bloom again.
Agapanthi are originally from southern Africa. In their homeland, like here, they prefer a bright and sunny location. If the African lily does not get enough sun, it will stop flowering or will not develop any flowers at all.
The ideal location for the plants is:
- full sun
- sheltered from the wind
In order for Agapanthus to bloom magnificently, it needs at least half a day of sun. It is best to choose an east or south-facing location for the plant. The African lily should also be protected from the wind so that its long flower stalks cannot break off in the wind. A place on the house wall is well suited as a wind-protected location. This not only keeps the wind out, but also gives the plant additional warmth.
Tip: Also make sure that the agapanthus is not shaded by other plants or garden furniture. Since the plant itself is small, it can also be placed upright so that it gets enough sun.
Since most Agapanthi do not survive the German winter outdoors, they are mainly cultivated as container plants in this country. In contrast to many other tub plants, the size of the planter can influence the development of flowers in the African lily. If agapanthus or its roots have a lot of space in the bucket, its primary goal is to fill it up with its roots. The formation of flowers is neglected by the plant. Blossoms are only formed again when the planter is well rooted. So that the plant puts its energy into the formation of flowers, the planter should be designed as follows.
- be as tight as possible
- be replaced too late rather than too soon
A general guideline for the size of the planter is: The distance between the root ball and the edge of the bucket should be a maximum of two centimeters. Since Agapanthi do not like repotting at all and punish it with non-flowering or only sparse flowering, the plant should be repotted as rarely as possible.
Tip: The best and only time for repotting is in spring.
Since the African lily is very narrow or very close to the planter, the roots exert enormous pressure on the container. Therefore, valuable ceramic pots are not recommended for the plants, as cracks can easily occur. In addition, repotting the plant is often only possible by destroying the planter.
propagation by division
Large African lilies should be divided during repotting. This stimulates growth. However, the division often goes hand in hand with the absence of flowers. If the plant has been divided, it can happen that it does not flower again until the third year after the division.
Agapanthi have to spend the German winter indoors. The outdoor season for African lilies ends in late autumn, in any case before the first frost. In order for them to form flowers in the coming spring, the winter quarters must be bright and cool. If it is too dark or warm, the plants will not develop flowers because they cannot produce enough growth energy.
The optimal temperature of the winter quarters should be between five and a maximum of ten degrees Celsius. The following applies to brightness: the warmer the winter quarters, the more light the plant needs. A light value of 1,500 to 2,000 lux is ideal.
Tip: Ten degrees Celsius is the maximum upper limit for the winter quarters. In no case should the temperature be higher, not even slightly.
Other care measures during the hibernation are:
- don't water
- do not fertilize
Watering or fertilizing is only carried out again when the plant begins to grow in spring. At this point, you can also remove the dead leaves from the previous year.
The outdoor season for the agapanthus begins when no more frosts are to be expected. Since African lilies should go outside again as early as possible, they can, depending on the weather, move to the balcony or terrace as early as the beginning of April. If late frosts set in for a short time, the plants can be brought back into the warmth or covered with a protective fleece.
Tip: Choose a cloudy day for the start of the outdoor season, as the plant needs time to get used to the sun's rays again. If it gets too much sun too quickly, sunburn can occur on the leaves.
In order for Agapanthi to bloom magnificently again next year, they must also be supplied with nutrients in autumn. A conventional complete fertilizer that is added to the irrigation water is completely sufficient for this. So the soil must be kept moist even in autumn. In addition, the plants should be fertilized once a month in autumn.
If the plant was not supplied with enough nutrients in autumn, it will not produce flowers in the following year. This care error can only be corrected in the autumn of the following year through appropriate nutrient supply.
Seed formation is the natural propagation of African lilies. Therefore, the plant puts a lot of energy into seed formation, which is at the expense of flowering. To avoid this, be sure to cut off withered inflorescences.