Horticulture Magazine

How To Repot Agapanthus

agapanthus roots exposed in a broken terracotta pot

Agapanthus thrives in pots – this is definitely a plant particularly well suited to container growing.

It tends to flower better with its beautiful blue, purple or white blooms when its roots are restricted.

Growing in containers also makes it easier to care for these plants, especially the more tender evergreen types, over the winter months.

Though Agapanthus likes to be a little squeezed, and can cope surprisingly well with cramped conditions, it will typically need to be repotted after a couple of years – then every 4 years or so after that.

When Should You Repot Your Plant?

roots of agapanthus plant showing out of bottom of plastic pot

Signs that could indicate that an Agapanthus needs repotting include:

  1. The lack of flowering, or poor flowering, after years of flowering well.
  2. Many roots emerging from the drainage holes at the base.
  3. Difficulty in getting the roots out of the container. (Because they are crammed in there and pack it so tightly.)

Repotting Agapanthus is easy, you just need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Pry the Agapanthus out of its existing pot.
  2. Ready a new container, just slightly larger than the existing root system. Or, if you wish to divide the plant, find pots of a suitable size for each division.
  3. Divide the mature plant if you wish to do so.
  4. Place the Agapanthus into the new container.
  5. Fill around the plant with a peat-free loam based potting mix with added grit or sand for drainage.
  6. Water the plant(s) in well.
  7. Add grit, gravel or another decorative mulch around the top of the pots.

Read on for a little more information about this process: 

1) Remove The Plant From Its Current Pot

knife being used to pry agapanthus from its pot

This is usually the most challenging step of a simple process.

Mature Agapanthus that need repotting can be rather difficult to remove from their pots.

Run a blade or a flat, thin object around the edge of the pot to loosen it, and make it easier to lift out.

If possible, pry and ease the plant out of its current location.

exposed roots of agapanthus plant cut from its container

Agapanthus that are extremely pot-bound like this one, may need to be cut from their pot to avoid damaging their root system.

pot bound roots of an agapanthus plant

2) Choose and Prepare a New Pot or Pots

two containers held side by side

Agapanthus thrives in terracotta pots, which not only aesthetically fit, but also provide optimal growing conditions.

We chose to use an Elho pot made from recycled materials and which was slightly larger than the incumbent container.

Whichever pots you choose, make sure that the pot you choose is just slightly bigger than the root ball of the plant that you wish to place in it.

3) Divide the Plant if You Wish to Do So

agapanthus plant divided into two sections

Repotting could be a good time to consider dividing a mature plant, rather than simply transferring it to a slightly larger container.

This simply involves splitting the plant into sections, which can usually be accomplished with a sharp garden spade.

4) Place the Agapanthus in a New Container

container ready for planting

Place the Agapanthus in a new container.

Make sure that you will be able to leave some room at the top of the pot, and also allow for a coverage of 5cm of the growing medium over the top of the roots.

5) Add your Potting Mix

 newly potted agapanthus plant

Gently ease in your potting mix around the roots.

Make sure that you do not leave any air pockets.

A peat-free, loam based potting mix, with some sand or grit added for drainage is ideal for growing Agapanthus.

6) Water Your Plant in Well

watering a freshly potted agapanthus plant

Agapanthus will need a good drink after repotting.

It is also important to check that excess water is allowed to drain away freely.

7) Add Mulch

After repotting Agapanthus, it is a good idea to finish off the top of the pots with a grit, gravel or other decorative mulch to retain water in the growing medium.

This also helps to prevent water from pooling around the base of the plant and causing issues.

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