Dividing Agapanthus Plants: When And How To Divide An Agapanthus Plant

Agapanthus Plant About to be Divided
agapanthus blue in bloom picture id1164221254
(Image credit: Roger Driscoll)

Beautiful, easy care agapanthus plants are perfect choices to decorate the borders along your driveway or fence. With their tall, slender stems, lush foliage and bright blue or white flowers, agapanthus are about as attractive and low-maintenance as it gets. Another great thing about agapanthus is that if you have one, you can get extra plants free by dividing and transplanting agapanthus clumps. Read on to learn more about dividing agapanthus plants.

Can I Divide Agapanthus?

The answer is yes, you can and you should. As the plants mature, they crowd against each other underground, and this overcrowding limits their flowering. The best way to remedy the problem is to start dividing and transplanting agapanthus. But you’ll want to learn how and when to split agapanthus to be sure you do it right.

When to Split Agapanthus

Don’t think about dividing agapanthus plants while they are offering you those lovely blossoms, even if the flowering seems less than last year due to overcrowding. If you want to know when to split agapanthus, you’ll need to know whether your variety is evergreen or deciduous. For evergreen varieties, you should think about dividing and transplanting agapanthus every 4 to 5 years. Do the actual division when new growth emerges in spring, or else in early autumn after the plants have finished flowering. This timing works for deciduous plants too. However, these should only be divided every 6 to 8 years.

How to Divide an Agapanthus

Dividing agapanthus plants is easy. All you need is a garden fork or shovel, a large kitchen knife, and a new garden site prepared to receive the transplants. Here’s how to divide an agapanthus:

  • Press the garden fork or shovel into the ground just at the outside of the root ball of the plant. Pressing gently, lift the whole clump of agapanthus roots out of the soil.
  • Once the root clump is out of the ground, clip off the remaining flower stems right at the base, and trim off any old or faded leaves.
  • Divide the main clump into several smaller clumps with your big kitchen knife. Keep in mind, though, that the smaller the new clumps, the longer they will take to flower.
  • Before you start transplanting the clumps, prune back the foliage by about two thirds and clip back any dead roots.
  • Replant them in the sunny, well-drained location you have prepared for them, and irrigate them thoroughly.
Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.