Ageratum Plant: Easy to care annuals with unique beautiful flowers
Image by Annette Meyer from Pixabay
Ageratum plants are one of the commonly grown ground cover plants. The most famous being their blue flower varieties. They are easy to maintain and the flowers are round and hairy looks different from the conventional flowers. They require very little care and can add a charm to the garden.
Quick Details of Ageratum
Ageratum Plant Buying Instructions
- Buy a bushy plant.
- Buy a healthy plant.
Overview of Ageratum Plant
These are annual flowering plants belonging to Asteraceae family and are native to Central America and Mexico. These plants can grow up to a height of 30 inches. The leaves are oval, oppositely arranged and looks like a cluster from top. The flowers are hairy, fluffy, soft and round and they bloom in colors like blue, pink , lavender and white. They bloom from mid summer to fall. Some of the common varieties that are grown are:
- Blue horizon: They look similar to asters and are purple to blue in color. The plants are one of the tallest in the family.
- Pinky Improved: Dark pink flowers with fading pink at the edges.
- Red Top: Red to magenta flowers.
- Bavaria: White flowers with turquoise borders.
- Hawaii: Comes in shades of blue, pink and white.
Usage and Advantage of Ageratum
- Grown as an ornamental plant.
General Care for Ageratum
They prefer a well draining, moist soil.
The plants prefer the soil to be moist during their growing period. Water the plants at least 3 times a week. Deep watering ones a week also helps maintain the moisture. Make sure not to over water the plants. Avoid overhead watering as well.
They prefer bright direct sunlight in colder regions or regions with normal weather conditions. Places with harsh summers or warmer areas, Provide the plant with a little shade in the afternoon.
They prefer warm humid conditions. They are not tolerant to extreme conditions.
Special Care for Ageratum Plant
Mulch the grounds to prevent loss of moisture and growth of weeds. Deadhead the flowers to encourage more flowering.
Feed them with an balanced fertilizer/compost/ manure ones a month during the growing period or when the plant starts to bloom.
Pests and other problems for Ageratum
They are not prone to many diseases and pests. However, over water, lack of space between plants and overhead watering can result in excess moisture being stored in the plant parts and the soil. This in turn can attract pathogens causing diseases like root rot and powdery mildew. Provide enough space between the plants, avoid over watering the plants and over head watering. In case of infection, use a mild fungicide or spray neem oil. If the infection is uncontrollable get rid off the infected area,
Root rot is a fungal disease affecting the roots mostly caused by Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium. The symptoms include wilting of the plants , droopiness and stunted growth. The roots starts to turn brown and rot. In severe cases, the leaves start to turn yellow, the plant wilts and eventually die. This can cause when there is excess water in the soil or when the soil not well draining.
White powdery coating is seen first on the underside of the leaves, which spreads to the upper side. The whole of the infected leaf can be covered with this which further turns black. The infected leaves turns yellow and start to wilt. These are fungal diseases caused mostly due to excess moisture or over head watering.
Caused by a fungus called Botrytis cinerea.
It mostly infects the flowers. There is a formation of a gray fuzzy mass on the flowers and the flowers turn brown. Some leaves also can get infected by it. Seen mostly in plants that do not receive enough amount of sunlight or placed in areas which are cold, dump or has high humidity.
Propagation of Ageratum
These plants can be propagated though seeds. Sow the seeds early spring. The seeds can be sown on the surface of the soil. Do not bury them deep. These plants require sunlight to initiate germination. Place them in a spot with enough sunlight and water them regularly.