Growing Agapanthus Peter Pan: Caring For Peter Pan Lily of the Nile

The dwarf Agapanthus Peter Pan originally hails from South Africa.  It belongs to the Agapanthus genus and part of the Amaryllidaceae family. Even though the word, lily, is used in many of the plants’ common names, ‘Peter Pan’ it is not a true lily. 

Is Agapanthus an annual or perennial? These rhizomatous plants are perennial. 

Blooming Agapanthus Peter PanPin

Agapanthus Africanus (ag-uh-PANTH-us af-ri-KAHN-us) is the official name of this plant. The genus name, Agapanthus, comes from the Greek words, agape (love) and anthos (flower). 

The common names for Agapanthus Peter Pan include: 

  • Lily of the Nile Peter Pan
  • African Lily Peter Pan
  • Dwarf Lily of the Nile
  • Dwarf African Lily

Agapanthus Peter Pan Care

Size & Growth

Dwarf Lily of the Nile is a quick and vigorous grower and can attain a height of around 18″ inches. Individual plants may attain a spread of a couple of feet.

The evergreen, strap-like, narrow green leaves have an attractive, mounding growth habit that looks nice, even when there are no flowers present. This is a good thing because it may take three or more years for Lily of the Nile Peter Pan to become established and begin to bloom. 

Foliage dies back during the plants’ dormant period.

NOTE: There are deciduous varieties and evergreen varieties.

Flowering & Fragrance

Well-established Dwarf African Lily cultivar typically blooms after mid-summer, producing large, round clusters (umbels) of pretty purple, white, pink, or light blue flowers atop tall, sturdy upright flower stalks. The erect stems may attain a height of 3′ feet tall attracting bees, birds, and butterflies. 

Individual blossoms are trumpet-shaped and feature a darker-colored mid-vein on each individual petal. The blooms are very attractive to pollinators of all sorts. 

NOTE: Plants that start out producing purple blooms may eventually begin to produce white blooms. The reason for this is unclear.

Light Requirements and Temperature

In very hot climates, African Lily Peter Pan likes to have partial shade in the afternoon. In moderate climates, it does well in full sun. This plant is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8-11. 

Although above ground growth dies back when temperatures drop below 40° degrees Fahrenheit, underground bulbs can survive even when temperatures drop as low as 10° degrees Fahrenheit.

The plants tend to lean toward the sun, so placing them in a south-facing location in the landscape can help keep them standing upright. 

Watering & Feeding

These thirsty plants like to be watered regularly and frequently during the growing season. Keep the soil moist, not soggy. 

Cease watering from autumn through winter, which is the plants’ dormant season. 

Early in the springtime and again mid-summer, provide a generous feeding using a balanced water-soluble fertilizer (e.g. 5-5-5 or 10-10-10).

Soil & Transplanting

  • These plants like a pH level ranging from 6.6 to 7.5.
  • A well-draining soil is essential for healthy growth. 
  • At planting time, work a lot of organic compost into the soil to provide healthy water retention and ongoing nutrition. 

After the foliage dies back in the late autumn or early winter, provide a good, thick layer of organic mulch to protect the bulbs from freezing. Leave this in place in the springtime as it will decompose and provide continuous nourishment.

Grooming & Maintenance

These are very low-maintenance plants. Consider deadheading spent flower clusters and stalks so that the plant presents a more attractive appearance after blooming.

How To Propagate Agapanthus Peter Pan

Divide Agapanthus clumps every couple of years to prevent overcrowding.

When you divide your plants, simply move the resulting extra rhizomes to a new area or pot them up to grow new plants. 

It is possible to save seed; however, this is not recommended as this hybrid will probably not grow true from seed. 

Agapanthus Peter Pan Pests or Diseases

For the most part, Agapanthus plants are hardy and quite resistant to pests and disease. If your plant:

  • Is in poorly draining soil
  • Does not get enough sun
  • Allow overcrowding 
  • And/or tend to overwater

… You are likely to have trouble with fungus related diseases, such as: 

  • Root and Stem Rot
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Anthracnose
  • Gray Mold

Plants kept in less than ideal conditions may also attract pests, such as: 

  • Agapanthus Gall Midges
  • Agapanthus Borers
  • Slugs and Snails

Is Agapanthus Considered Toxic or Poisonous to People, Kids, Pets?

Many people believe Agapanthus are toxic because they often bear the common moniker, Lily. This is literally a misnomer. True lilies are quite toxic. Agapanthus is not. 

Their sap can cause some skin irritation, and you should not eat them as they will upset your stomach, but they are not poisonous. Wear gloves and/or wash up after handling and resist the temptation to munch on them. 

Are Agapanthus Plants Considered Invasive?

Many kinds of Agapanthus are considered invasive in favorable settings, such as in Australia. But Peter Pan is not one of them because it is a hybrid. Even so, if you live in an area where this plant is winter hardy and will spread on its own, keep an eye on it. Don’t let it spread outside of your property.

Suggested Uses For Agapanthus Peter Pan 

These versatile plants make an excellent choice in almost any outdoor setting. They do well as border plants, bedding plants, and accent container plants. They are used extensively at Disney World’s EPCOT. 

They make a beautiful addition to a butterfly garden and/or a cutting garden, and the flowers make long-lasting additions to flower arrangements. 

In challenging settings, African Lilies excel. They are resistant to wind and salt, so they can safely be added to a seaside garden. They are also rabbit and deer-resistant.

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