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New agapanthus for a stunning blue summer

Plants Management Australia

Plants Management Australia

January 7, 2014

How are your Aggies looking? Here in Tassie, they are fully budded up and just about to launch into their full summer display. Just the first few flowers have begun to open. How do you use Aggies in your garden?

PMA Agapanthus 'Baby Pete'

PMA Agapanthus ‘Baby Pete’

At Plants Management Australia one of the most popular varieties we represent is Agapanthus ‘Baby Pete’. This is a superb dwarf selection by plant breeder Frank Benson in Queensland. Some years ago whilst renovating his home and garden, Frank had planted out close to 400 of the well-known Agapanthus ‘Peter Pan’. Two of these resulted in dwarf sports which Frank isolated and subsequently spent over 10 years trialling and developing to ensure they remained true to type in tissue culture. ‘Baby Pete’ was the outstanding result. So can you see how the name evolved now?

Agapanthus Baby Pete

Agapanthus Baby Pete

Agapanthus Baby Pete

Agapanthus Baby Pete

When in full flower ‘Baby Pete’ reaches a height of around 40cm – so you can see that is really is compact compared to widespread Aggies out there. It has lush looking mid green foliage and provides great blue flowers throughout summer. It’s well loved for lining paths and driveways and for the front of garden beds. This shot of them lining the driveway is right outside my office window and was taken last summer. The flowers are about 1/3 open at the moment so I am gearing up for a great display over the coming few weeks.

‘Baby Pete’ also has another fantastic feature – its low to no seed set. After years of trialling across the country, no viable seed has been observed on ‘Baby Pete’. Historically this has been a perennial issue with this genus making ‘Baby Pete’ environmentally friendly and eliminating the risk of seed escaping into the environment. We want our plants to stay where we plant them!

PMA Agapanthus 'Gold Strike'

PMA Agapanthus ‘Gold Strike’

Agapanthus 'Gold Strike'

Agapanthus ‘Gold Strike’

There are 2 new Agapanthus out this season from PMA, and both were developed by New Zealand breeders. Agapanthus ‘Goldstrike’ has terrific green and gold variegated foliage and dark stems which really stand out. Sitting atop them are elegant blue and white striped blooms. ‘Goldstrike’ makes a great accent plant, either in the garden bed or in containers. It makes a great addition to an easy care summer garden and I must say it has thrived at my place with very little attention.

PMA Agapanthus 'Golden Drop'

PMA Agapanthus ‘Golden Drop’

The second new release is Agapanthus ‘Golden Drop’. This one will start to come onto the market over summer and is an ultra compact selection with fine foliage. ‘Golden Drop’ has sky blue flowers that sit nicely above the foliage. It has huge potential as a landscape plant for softening hard edges and difficult locations. It loves full sun and is well suited to coastal locations. Big ticks for compact form and dry tolerance! I like this one as it looks quite delicate in the garden.

Spare a thought for the reliable Aggie this season, they are a great burst of colour and always remind me of summertime fun. Does anyone else have fond memories of childhood holidays by the coast and remember the aggies in the garden of their holiday home?

[This post brought to you by Plants Management Australia]

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7 years ago

In SA, I’m starting to have doubts about aggies.

The foliage does not cope with high 30 – 40’s open sun heat. The only ones looking good have afternoon shade.

We bought a number of new release “black” which whilst they have set flowers – they have been short lived. May need a little longer to establish.

7 years ago

My aggies have been and gone! Like Kevin, my aggies just didn’t do well this year with day after day of scorching temps and nil rain to speak of. I have the white, blue, black and minis and all very short lived compared to previous years. Maybe next year might be a better year for them.

Amanda Mackinnon
7 years ago

It’s interesting to hear how everyone’s gardens differ. Mine have just started to flower, and so far are coping well with the current temperatures in the high early 30’s and full sun.

Catherine Stewart
7 years ago

Yes, sadly my old species aggies have also burned on a recent hot day. Although they’re very drought hardy, the species agapanthus don’t seem to cope with both drought and then extreme heat in Sydney. I’d be interested to see if some of these newer cultivars fare better.