Lily of the Nile: Dividing at Seasons End

What You'll Need

Lily of the Nile, or agapanthus, is an easy plant to grow, however can be overwhelming when not tended to properly. Any plant that tries to survive its ambush will eventually be overwhelmed by it. Lily of the Niles are grass-like clumps which can grow up to three feet. Native to southern Africa, they have narrow leaves and are best known for the green foliage and seemingly endless summer blooms.  These plants can prosper in environments of abandon, on the coast and on dry slopes.  Most conditions of soil are tolerable for the lily of the Nile as long as they are watered regularly in the warmer months of spring and summer.  

Step 1 – Timing

There are many things to consider when dividing your Lily of the Nile. Timing is important in order to make the process as easy and stress free as possible for your plant. The early spring is the best time to divide, however if you’re running a little late, fall is a good time as well. Dividing in the morning or after rainfall will make digging much easier.

Step 2 – Dividing

You will begin by digging the whole plant ball up, while simultaneously massaging the dirt away to help locate roots.  Once you have dug it all up, you will need to cut the ball into halves or thirds.  Very little time should pass before you replant, the plant will need some extra water and attention until it is able to take root on its own.  Fertilization should not be done until after the plant is settled in.

Step 3 – Care

Lilies of the Nile usually don’t need to be divided more frequently than every 6 years.  If they begin to look too crowded or are looking too big, then it would be a good idea to look into dividing.  Keep in mind when relocating your plants that lilies of the Nile grow the best in moist, fertile soil.  Once a month you will need to fertilize the lilies of the Nile after they have taken root.