Agapanthus is the Devil

another view of spider condoThis is 1/2 of our front yard.  The other half is essentially the same.  Small, square, dirt full of pea gravel, and filled with vigorous agapanthus and an unknown sprawling shrub that collects spiders.  I want vegetables and flowers like calendula, coreopsis, black eyed susans, grandmother’s pin cushion, marigolds, roses, and zinnias.

bare spot for vegThat bare spot used to have the other half of that clump of agapanthus in it.  Philip has not removed the rest of it as I requested him to do because it traumatized him.  So I planned to fill in the crappy soil with some fresh better soil and plant a couple of vegetables.

before with spider condo

But I’m greedy for space and this spider condo was on my hitlist.  I felt sure it wouldn’t be as hard to remove as the agapanthus.  At least I could grow more than one tomato if I removed it.  I hate shrubs like this.  They’re what you plant when you don’t want to actually garden.  They’re what you plant if you’re studying arachnids and need to provide the ideal environment to lure them with.spider condo demolitionI was right.  The shrub was just a great sprawling thing that was mostly dead and brittle underneath the top layer.  Its removal revealed a startling sight.

pure evilAbout half of the agapanthus clump behind it isn’t even growing into the ground.  It’s packed into itself in a crazy-ass impenetrable tangle of root and fiber and I got blood thirsty.

I will winI thought that not having to dig them out of the actual ground would make them easier to remove – I was terribly terribly wrong.  By the way, all the time I worked on chopping up the spider condo yesterday it was in the 80’s and I sweated like mad and it was awful and gross.  This morning was no different.

cramped tough rootsThat mess is all growing above ground.  It’s thick.  It will most likely break my shovel handle.  I’m using Philip’s burly digging bar which helps but my long held suspicions about agapanthus have been proved true.evil rootsAgapanthus is the devil.

Would you look at that gnarly mean mass of shovel-breaking root?!  It’s living off of itself, people!  No wonder they always plant this in parking lots of malls and institutional buildings.  This is a corporate strength plant.  It will survive balls of fire and lightning bolts of blight.

I had to come inside to hide from the stupid heat.  You have to actually hate yourself to dig a cancer like this out of your yard in 85° heat.  I may be temporarily defeated but I now have my sights set on removing the entire mass instead of just half of it.  And I intend to make Philip remove the rest of his too.  Because on the other half of our front yard we have THREE MORE OF THESE ENORMOUS CLUMPS OF AGAPANTHUS.

9 thoughts on “Agapanthus is the Devil

  1. Kathy

    Good god, that thing is a monster! And living on top of the soil with those mad ass tentacles…yikes! But I love the space you have out there and once these life forms are ripped out and cast off to die, you will have beautiful tomatoes growing. Thank you for taking pictures of the yard, even in the heat. I love seeing your space.

  2. hobbit

    Wow!!! That is a monster. Congrats on deciding that you need food to feed the body and the mind. Good bag of topsoil will be helpful. Talk to a local greenhouse and tell them what was there before and how much sun or shade the spot gets and they can help you have a successful garden. Last year I worked on a similar plot that was overgrown with what we call burning bush. Gorgeous pink flowers grow on the branch before the green leaves bloom. Not to mention 3 to 4 inch thorns that could easily pop an eye out. I planted black beans successfully and was tickled to death when I got 2 quarts of beans for my effort. It’s almost time to plant again…………….guess what came back? I’m going to kill that plant if it takes the rest of my life……really

  3. Michelle


    I’m making room for a raised bed and the prime piece of real estate in my front yard was occupied by a ginormous clump of Agapanthus. Luckily the ground was soft and I managed to heave that monster out, but now the dirt is littered with what seems like millions of roots. When you got your agapanthus out, did any roots come back from the dead? If so, what did you do? I am thinking of solarizing the whole area with newspaper, letting it sit for a few weeks and then proceeding with my raised bed just to be on the safe side. Can I hope that one day I’ll be able to plant something else?

  4. angelina Post author

    Oh yeah – I’ve got little baby agapanthus plant sprouting up all over the area where we pulled them out. I think solarizing it is an excellent plan. I was considering doing that myself but my current plan is to put down weed cloth before putting raised beds in my front. Normally I’m not a big fan of weed cloth but it’s such a small area and I think it would be worth it. You can keep pulling the baby plants out (much easier than the mature ones) but I would go with one of the other two plans.

  5. angelina Post author

    This post is so old we don’t have any left. Sorry about that. It’s pretty cheap to buy them though.

  6. sheila avison

    I love agapanthus they look so majestic when in flower tall and proud.I’ve never seen any before until last year.I bought myself 2 bulbs and had flowers on both.I now have 5 but want to move 2 to another space unfortunately I cut the roots off with a space trying to dig them up.I quickly planted the plant will it survive and grow new roots or die.

  7. angelina Post author

    You submitted this question so long ago I bet you already know the answer! In my experience, it’s very difficult to kill agapanthus.

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