African Lily Agapanthus 'Ben Hope'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
African lily 'Ben Hope'


Agapanthus 'Ben Hope' is known for its eye-catching floral display and is commonly referred to as the African Lily. The plant showcases lush, strap-shaped green leaves arranged in a neat, arching clump. These leaves are glossy and provide a verdant backdrop for the standout feature of the plant: its blooms. The African Lily produces striking globular clusters of flowers atop sturdy, upright stems that emerge from the foliage. Each flower cluster consists of multiple trumpet-shaped florets, which are typically a deep, vibrant blue or violet hue. These florets are arranged in a spherical or umbrella-like formation, giving each flower head a full, rounded appearance. The blue-violet blossoms have a subtle grace, with long, slender petals and a prominent stamen in the center, adding to the plant's overall elegance. The impressive flower clusters of the Agapanthus 'Ben Hope' make it a favorite among gardeners for adding a splash of color and height to a floral display, without referencing its specific dimensions. Overall, the African Lily is notable for its distinctive, rounded flower heads and complementary lush foliage that creates a striking visual impact in any garden setting.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      African Lily, Lily of the Nile, Love Flower.

    • Common names

      Agapanthus 'Ben Hope'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Agapanthus, commonly known as Lily of the Nile, can be toxic to humans if ingested. The plant contains compounds that can cause gastrointestinal irritation, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, skin irritation may also occur if there is prolonged contact with the sap. It is important to handle plants with care and to avoid ingesting any parts of the plant to prevent possible adverse reactions.

    • To pets

      Lily of the Nile is also toxic to pets. If ingested, it can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes drooling in animals. It is particularly important to keep houseplants out of reach of pets and to be vigilant when pets are around garden plants to prevent ingestion and potential poisoning.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Adds aesthetic value to gardens with its tall, striking blue-purple flowers.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it suitable for busy gardeners.
    • Drought Tolerance: Can survive in dry conditions, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Attracts Wildlife: Flowers are known to attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
    • Long Blooming: Offers a long flowering period from early summer to fall, providing extended garden interest.
    • Versatility: Can be used in borders, containers, or as a focal point in garden designs.
    • Hardiness: Capable of withstanding colder temperatures, suitable for various climates.
    • Rapid Growth: Establishes quickly and fills in garden spaces, making it ideal for new gardens or renovations.
    • Propagation: Can be easily propagated from division, allowing gardeners to share and increase their stock.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • As a natural boundary or fence due to its clumping nature, the African Lily can be planted in rows to demarcate areas or property lines without the need for structural fencing.
    • In eco-friendly water management, African Lily's extensive root system can be used in rain gardens to absorb excess water and prevent runoff.
    • The flowers can be used for dye extraction, as petals of the African Lily can provide natural colorants for fabrics or crafts.
    • Its large strap-shaped leaves can be utilized in floral art, providing an exotic and structural green base in arrangements and bouquets.
    • As a natural insect repellent, the African Lily can be planted in gardens to deter certain insects due to its aromatic nature.
    • As a teaching tool in botany and horticulture classes, the plant's morphology and growth patterns provide practical examples for educational purposes.
    • When dried, the seed pods of the African Lily can be used in craft projects or as part of dried flower displays for a unique texture and shape.
    • As an edible flower, the petals of the African Lily may be used in some cultures for culinary decoration, though not widely recognized as a common edible.
    • The robust nature of the African Lily makes it suitable for xeriscaping, contributing to water conservation in landscape design.
    • For photography and painting subjects, the striking blooms and form of the African Lily can be a focal point for artists and photographers.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Agapanthus, commonly known as Lily of the Nile, is not traditionally used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Agapanthus, commonly known as Lily of the Nile, is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Love Letters: The name Agapanthus comes from the Greek words 'agape' meaning love, and 'anthos' meaning flower. Therefore, it is often associated with love and can symbolize a message of love or a love letter.
    • Beauty: Agapanthus, commonly known as African Lily or Lily of the Nile, has striking blue or purple flowers, which can symbolize beauty and elegance to its beholder.
    • Strength and Resilience: The Agapanthus plant is known for its ability to withstand tough conditions and still produce beautiful flowers, representing inner strength, resilience, and the ability to overcome adversity.
    • Fertility: In some cultures, the lush and prolific blooms of the African Lily are seen as symbols of fertility and abundance.
    • Home: This plant is also associated with the concept of home or hearth because it is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens, symbolizing safety and domestic happiness.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Agapanthus, commonly known as Lily of the Nile, requires consistent moisture during its growing season, which is spring and summer. Water the plant thoroughly so that the soil is evenly moistened, but not waterlogged. Aim for about 1 inch of water per week, adjusting based on rainfall and temperature, as the soil should be slightly damp to the touch. During the winter months, reduce watering considerably, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. If grown in containers, ensure that they have adequate drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom.

  • sunLight

    Lily of the Nile thrives best in full sun to partial shade. For optimal blooming, position the plant where it will receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight daily. An ideal spot is one that enjoys the morning sun and is shaded during the hottest part of the afternoon, especially in regions with very intense summer sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Lily of the Nile prefers temperate climates with temperatures between 50°F and 80°F. The plant can survive brief periods of colder weather, with a minimum temperature threshold of about 20°F, but sustained freezing temperatures can damage the plant. Ideal growth occurs when night temperatures are cool, and daytime temperatures are moderately warm.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Lily of the Nile is mainly to remove spent flower stalks and dead foliage, which encourages new growth and improves the plant's appearance. Prune immediately after flowering by cutting the flower stalks back to the base of the plant. Additionally, during early spring, cut away any damaged or old leaves to promote healthy new growth. The best time for major pruning is in the early spring or after the plant has finished blooming.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Agapanthus, commonly known as Lily of the Nile, thrives in a soil mix with good drainage, such as a blend of loam, sand, and well-rotted compost or manure. The best soil pH for Lily of the Nile is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Lily of the Nile, Agapanthus 'Ben Hope', should be repotted every 2 to 4 years to replenish nutrients and provide room for growth. The best time to repot is in the spring before the growing season begins.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Lily of the Nile prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable and can tolerate the dry air found in most homes. No specific humidity level is required, but avoiding excessively dry conditions is beneficial.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Lily of the Nile in bright light, pot in well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Lily of the Nile in sun, fertile, well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The African Lily 'Ben Hope' starts its lifecycle when its seeds germinate in warm, moist soil, typically in spring. Seedlings emerge and establish a rosette of strap-shaped leaves, entering a stage of vegetative growth. The plant then matures through the formation of a clump with multiple leaf clusters, and after a few years, it begins to flower, producing tall stalks topped with spherical clusters of trumpet-shaped, usually blue or violet flowers, typically in summer. After flowering, seed capsules form, which eventually dry and release seeds to propagate the next generation. During autumn, the plant's foliage may die back, especially in cooler climates, entering a period of dormancy over winter. With the return of favorable conditions in the following spring, the African Lily exits dormancy, resuming vegetative growth and preparing for another flowering cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: Agapanthus 'Ben Hope', commonly known as the African Lily, is often propagated by division, which is best done in the spring just before or as the new growth commences. To propagate by division, carefully lift the clump of the parent plant from the ground using a spade. Gently separate the plant into smaller sections, ensuring each section has at least one or two healthy growth points or shoots. Replant the divisions at the same depth they were growing previously and water them well to help establish roots. Depending on the size of the clump, this can result in a substantial number of new plants ready to bloom in the following years.