AGERATUM (Floss Flower) Compositae A. houstonianum (A. mexicanum)
HABITAT: Native Mexico.
USES: Borders, window boxes, pots, cuts.
HABIT: Annual plants with heart-shaped leaves and clusters of fuzzy, 1/4 - 1/2 inch blue, white, pink blossoms flowering summer to frost. Varieties vary from 6-24 inches in height.
SEED GERMINATION: May be sown outdoors after all danger of frost has passed but, for best results, sow indoors in early spring on the surface of moistened Park's Grow Mix. Do not cover the seed as light is beneficial for germination.
EXCEPTION: Golden Ageratum Lonas annua (inodora) which requires total darkness for germination. Keep soil medium moist at all times and maintain 70 degree temperature within the soil medium during germination which takes 5-10 days. Transplant when large enough to handle to peat pots or sow direct to peat pots or pellets and shift to garden when roots emerge from pot walls.
CULTURE: Set 6-9 inches apart in sunny, warm, well-drained garden soil with humus (leaf mold, compost, peat moss, etc.) added. Will tolerate light shade. Keep well watered, fertilize monthly with well balanced garden fertilizer (8-8-8) and keep well cultivated. Remove faded flowers to prolong flowering season.
INSECTS: White Fly, Mealy Bug: Use an approved insecticide such as Malathion for control.
Red Spider Mite: Use an approved miticide such as Kelthane for control.
DISEASES: Wilt: Remove infected plants and parts. Improve soil drainage, keep well fertilized and watered.
PROPAGATION: Cuttings, seed.
REMARKS: In mild West Coast areas, seeds may be sown in late summer for fall flowering.