Black Pantha Agapanthus praecox ssp. Orientalis Lily of the Nile Plant
Agapanthus praecox ssp. orientalis 'Black Pantha'
In late spring and early summer, this strappy, mounded plant sends up a central stalk, sturdy and thick among the gray-green foliage. Spotted with purple, it immediately sets a tuft of nearly black buds, which remains for a week or two before bursting into navy-blue to midnight-violet flowers. The flowers, in turn, remain on the plant for up to 6 weeks, or last for 2 weeks in the vase if cut. Extraordinary!
When 'Black Pantha' is blooming, it's hard to focus on anything else in the garden. This tender perennial is simply magnificent, its 3-foot flower stems towering above the foliage to form bold silhouettes in the sunny to lightly shaded garden.
'Black Pantha' is virtually sterile, which gives it the advantage of concentrating all its energy on making flowers rather than seeds. You will love the flower power of this 1981 Australian introduction from plantsman Graham Morrison!
Agapanthus is a carefree bulb for sunny gardens, and flowers most heavily when rootbound or crowded. If planting in a container, pack the bulbs in a little too closely and try to avoid transplanting them. In the garden, set them among other, established plants so that they cannot sprawl. They will grow better and flower more profusely in overcrowded conditions!
Find a sunny, well-drained spot of soil and begin enjoying the beauty this season! Zones 7-11.
|Species||praecox ssp. orientalis|
|Zone||7 - 11|
|Bloom Season||Late Spring - Early Summer|
|Plant Height||24 in - 3 ft|
|Plant Width||18 in - 24 in|
|Additional Characteristics||Bloom First Year, Butterfly Lovers, Easy Care Plants, Flower, Long Bloomers|
|Bloom Color||Dark Blue, Dark Purple|
|Foliage Color||Dark Green|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun, Part Shade|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained|
|Resistance||Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Humidity Tolerant|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy|
|Uses||Border, Cut Flowers, Foliage Interest, Outdoor, Winter Interest|
|Restrictions||Guam, Hawaii, Canada, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|
- Butterflies like a lot of sunlight, so locate your garden in a sunny area.
- If you live in a windy location, plant your butterfly-attracting plants near a building, fence, or hedge to protect them.
- Plant a variety of nectar-rich plants, as well as shrubs and evergreens for shelter.
- Since many butterflies and native flowering plants have co-evolved, try to put in some that are native to your area. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center provides lists of plants native to states and regions.
- Certain colors are particularly attracting to butterflies – red, yellow, pink, purple, or orange blooms that are clustered or flat-topped, with a short flower tubes are especially attractive to adult butterflies.
- Avoid using pesticides, especially around nectar-producing plants.
- Provide a shallow source of water – try a birdbath with pebbles lining the bowl.
- Place a rock in a sunny spot for butterfly basking and resting.
- Create a "puddling area" by digging a shallow hole filled with compost or manure where rainwater will collect and release essential salts and minerals.
- If you want butterflies to breed in your garden, put in some caterpillar food plants, such as parsley, milkweeds, asters, thistles, violets, clover, grasses, and Queen Anne’s Lace.
- Since butterflies need nectar throughout the entire adult phase of their lives, try to create a design that will allow for a continuous bloom – when one stops blooming, another starts.
Set out plants about 18 inches apart in a sunny location, making certain not to plant the strong, clumpy root too deeply. The soil should be moisture-retentive, but need not be especially fertile. In areas north of zone 7, plant in large containers and bring in over the winter.
Keep plants well-watered during the growing season. Agapanthus will bloom best if pot-bound, but will also bloom prolifically when planted outdoors, as long as they are not moved. Occasionally, however, severe overcrowding will lead to reduced flowering. If that happens, divide the plants as necessary; flowers will again bloom profusely after a couple of years. In the North, containers should be brought in to a frost-free environment for the winter before the fall frost begin.
Water should be gradually withheld to encourage the plant to go into a dormant state. Low light and cool temperatures should be maintained during the winter. To induce growth the following spring, put agapanthus in good sunlight and increase watering as new growth increases. Begin fertilizing when this growth has reached 6 to 9 inches and continue regularly through the growing season. Zones 6-10.
Zones 6 to 10
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