Tips for agapanthus growers

Sector commentator Jane Owen has provided gardening enthusiasts with a number of hints and tips on agapanthus, or African Blue Lily.

Writing in the online pages of the Times, she explains that the bloom comes in a wide range of blue and purple shades, as well as in white.

Horticultural enthusiasts should also use protection when handling the roots of the plant, Ms Owen suggests, noting that they contain a skin irritant.

She also states that they are relatively trouble-free, adding that while they will sometimes be attacked by the red spider mite and the mealy bug, they are resistant for the most part.

Ms Owen concludes: "Some gardeners complain that their plants appear healthy but do not flower. This is usually due to lack of sun, lack of nutrients, lack of water in summer or becoming overcrowded in containers."

The Royal Horticultural Society explains that red spider mites can affect a wide range of plants, whether they are in gardens, glasshouses or homes.