Agapanthus are beautiful flowering perennials that love a warm and sunny spot with free-draining soil.
They not only look good over the summer, but can also bloom into the autumn.
If you do not deadhead the later blooms, these will form into attractive seed heads which can also look good towards the tail end of the year.
However, deadheading earlier blooms can sometimes be a good idea – deadheading earlier in the season can encourage new blooms to form.
And if you do not want to collect and sow the seeds (or allow self-seeding to occur) then deadheading will prevent the plants from wasting energy on seed production.
Deadheading Agapanthus could not be simpler:
- Identify blooms which have passed their peak and begun to fade.
- Snip off the spent blooms before they go to seed with sharp and clean secateurs, cutting off the stalks close to the base of the plant to keep things neat.
- Place the dead flower heads into your composting system.
When To Deadhead Agapanthus
Agapanthus will begin to bloom sometime in the early to mid-summer (depending on where you live, and the specific variety that you have chosen to grow).
As soon as these first blooms begin to die back, and before they go to seed, you can start deadheading.
Then, as required or desired, you can continue to deadhead all through the rest of the summer and into autumn.
Identifying Blooms To Deadhead
Just remember that you might not want to deadhead all your blooms.
If you want to collect the seeds you will of course have to leave some flowers to form into seed heads.
But if you are deadheading for appearance sake, and to stop the plants from wasting their energy on seed production rather than foliage and further blooms, then you should easily see when the blooms have begun to wilt and wither.
How to Deadhead Agapanthus
Once you have decided which flowers need to be removed, simply take a sharp, sterilized pair of secateurs and cut off the flowering stalk close to the base of the plant.
It does not really matter where on each stalk you choose to make your cut.
Some people will leave the stalks and simply cut off each flower, but it can look neater if you cut lower down – so it is really up to you.
So, as you can see, deadheading Agapanthus is a quick and easy job.
You might not need to do it at all, but deadheading, at least during the earliest part of the growing season, can prolong the blooming period and keep your Agapanthus looking its best.
A permaculture garden designer, sustainability consultant and freelance writer, Elizabeth works as an advocate for positive change. She aims to inspire others to reconnect with nature and live in a more eco-friendly way. She also tries to practice what she preaches as she tends her own forest garden, polyculture beds and polytunnel. See her personal website here.