A reliable bedding plant, with a long flowering season and good colour-fade resistance. The clusters of distinctive fluffy flowers burst-out over small mid-green leaves, in shades of blue, pink and white.
Botanical Name: Ageratum
Common Names: Mexican paintbrush, floss flower, billy goat weed.
Foliage: Deciduous, heart-shaped, crinkly hairy green leaves.
Flowers: Delicate fluffy flowers in shades of blue, pink or white.
Flowering Period: From July until the first frosts of autumn.
Soil: Any reasonable good garden soil type. Moist but well-drained.
Conditions: Best in full sun or light shade. Choose a west or south facing aspect, in a sheltered possition. Dislikes windy, exposed sites.
Habit: low growing, bushy, mound forming.
Type: Half-hardy annuals and biennials.
Origin: Central and South America.
Hardiness: H2 - Half-hardy, protect from frost
An easy to grow plant that will reward with a good show, if planted in rich moist soil and a sunny spot.
Ideal for border edging and bedding, adding both
colour and texture. Compact varieties can easily
be grown in patio pots and large containers.
Keep soil moist at all times, do not allow to dry out. Feed every 2-3 weeks with a weak solution of general liquid fertilizer.
Pinch out the growing tips to make plants more bushy. Regularly deadhead to prolong the flowering period.
Generally pest and disease free. Root-rot may occur.
Sow seeds from February to early April under glass in a gentle heat. Prick-out, pot on, and plant out at the end of May when all danger of frost is past.
F1 hybrid forms produce the best blooms. Colours range from various shades of blue to pink and white.
A. houstonianum is the most popular variety, in shades of white, blue and mauve. Good cultivars include:
'Adriatic', mid-blue flowers. Height 6in (15cm).
'Bengali', light pink. Height 6-8in (15-20cm).
'Blue Angel', lilac-blue. Height 6-8in (15-20cm).
'Blue Mink', powder blue flowers. Height 6in (15cm).
'Blue Mist', mid-blue flowers (early flowering). Height 6in (15cm).
'Blue Blazer', deep blue.
'Blue Bouquet', tall form, light blue.
'Blue Danube', blue. Height 8in (20cm).
'Fairy Pink', pale pink flowers. Height 6in (15cm).
'North Sea', dwarf form. Height to 12in.
'Summer Snow', white flowers. Height 6in (15cm).
'White Cushion', white flowers. Height 6in (15cm).
A. conyzoides, tall-variety white or blue flowers. Height to 1.5ft (45cm). Ideal for cut flowers.