Horticulture Magazine

How To Lift & Divide Agapanthus

crowded roots of an agapanthus plant

Agapanthus are not native to our shores, but they can be grown either in containers (brought under cover in winter) or in a border in a very sheltered, warm, sunny and protected spot.

Learning how to lift and divide Agapanthus will make it easy for you to propagate an existing plant, and increase your collection of these attractive perennials.

Dividing Agapanthus can help ease congestion for a very mature clump, as well as making new Agapanthus plants for your garden which are identical to the parent plant.

This is a very easy and simple process. All you have to do is:

  1. Gently lift a mature Agapanthus from its container or from the ground.
  2. Carefully knock off excess soil or growing medium so you can see more clearly.
  3. Carefully separate the plant into divisions.
  4. Repot or replant each section.
  5. Place a mulch of grit or gravel (or another decorative mulch) around the plants.

Below, we’ll talk you through this process in a little more depth.

1) Lift Your Agapanthus

root system of a pot bound agapanthus plant laid on a wooden potting table

Any healthy, mature Agapanthus is a suitable candidate for division.

Once you have identified a plant which you would like to divide, the first step is to lift it from the soil or growing medium.

An Agapanthus growing in a container can easily be knocked out.

One growing in a bed or border can be gently lifted with a spade or garden fork.

2) Knock off Excess Soil

spade signifying where agapanthus should be split

In order to see the root system more clearly, knock off excess soil or growing medium from around the roots.

This will make it easier for you to check that the roots are healthy, and will also make the division process a little bit easier.

3) Divide Your Agapanthus

an agapanthus plant laid on a patio with spade
dividing an agapanthus plant using a spade
agapanthus split into two sections
hands picking up two split sections of an agapanthus plant

Once you can see the roots, your goal is to split the existing root system into a number of sections.

Sometimes, you may be able to tease off smaller sections of the plant by hand.

In other cases, you may need to cut through the roots.

This is easily done by placing the plant on the ground and cutting through it with a garden spade, or by teasing it apart with a garden fork.

4) Repot or Replant Each Division

divided agapanthus ready for potting up

How many divisions you wish to make will depend, of course, on the size of the plant you are dividing, and on your needs or desires.

Just make sure that each section has some strong roots, and some above-ground growth.

close up of the root section of an agapanthus

Try to repot or replant each division as soon as possible.

Spring and autumn are the best times for this job because the conditions at these times of year will tend to be conducive to transplantation and the risk of transplantation shock will be reduced.

an agapanthus plant potted up on a potting table

Make sure that you plant Agapanthus into a moist yet free-draining soil or a peat-free loam-based potting mix with added sand or grit.

5) Add a Mulch Around the Plants

Finally, once you have replanted your divisions, it can be helpful to add a mulch of gravel or grit, or another decorative mulch, which will help with moisture retention – and also help to ensure that water does not sit around the base of the plants.

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