The Q&A Archives: Ageratum

Question: I'm having a difficult time finding a pretty blue to lavender flower to place in front of a bed of yellow and orange Mums this fall. I was thinking of using Ageratum but am unsure how low of temperature they take before wilting for the season. Here in the south we don't usually get any temperatures below 40 until mid-December. Would Ageratum bloom as long as the mums or would you suggest something else for our school box this fall?

Answer: Ageratum, or Flossflower, should bloom June through frost so it sounds like a good choice for your garden plot. Keep the spent flowers cut off, and feed monthly during the growing season for best performance. Chrysanthemums may out-flower the Ageratums, but both should be in bloom at the same time for several months. A second suggestion might be African Daisy (Dimorphotheca), sometimes called Cape marigold. The plants grow about 12" high with flowerheads 1 1/2 " across, in lavender-blue with yellow centers. These plants grow best in full sunshine, in slightly dry soils.

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