Ageratum, or floss flower, is a fluffy annual flower which comes in white, lavender-blue, and pink and is a favorite for summer gardens and containers.
Description: Ageratum plants are covered with clusters of small, fuzzy flowers. Most types are mounding plants six to ten inches tall and wide, but there are taller types. Plants bloom from spring planting until frost in fall.
How to grow: Grow in any well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Space six to ten inches apart for solid color. Deadhead or shear back slightly if plants become untidy.
Propagation: Start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before planting. Seeds germinate in five to eight days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Uses: Place in the front of borders and beds. Use them for their scarce blue color, which is seldom found in annuals. Taller, sometimes older, varieties make good cut flowers.
Related species: Golden ageratum, Lonas inodora, has the same flower effect in bright yellow.
Related varieties: The blues include Blue Horizon for cutting and Blue Lagoon and Blue Danube for pots and bedding.
Scientific name: Ageratum houstonianum