Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Plant of the Week: Flossflower

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When planting containers, I like to combine a few no-brainer annuals with the new annuals I am testing out.  That way my whole container isn’t a total loss for the season if the new be-all-end-all annual promoted by the garden centers turns out to be a total dud.  One my favorite no-brainer annuals is the flossflower.

Species:  Ageratum houstonianum

The annual is also often commonly referred to by its genus, pronounced “A-gé-ra-tum.”

Family:  Asteraceae

Flowering perennials in this family are often easy to pick out with their daisy-like blooms.  Zinnia, coreopsis, chrysanthemums and black-eyed susans are also in the Asteraceae family.

Flossflower is a moderate grower and prefers full sun with well-drained soil.  Once established, the annual has a lovely mounded habit at 6-12 inches tall depending on the variety.  The blooms are most commonly in the blue to purple range but pink and white varieties are also available.  Flossflower shouldn’t need deadheading and takes well to prunining if start to look overgrown.

The annual also does well as a bedding annual and is excellent along the border.

Looking for a real “wow” container?  For height in the back (also great texture), plant tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa).  Combine with a  purple summer snapdragon (Angelonia angustifolia) and a dark red-purple coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides).  To trail over the front of the container, add a magenta superbells (Calibrachoa hybrid) and a dark purple flossflower (Ageratum houstonianum).  In larger containers, dark purple-red canna or a dwarf bannana tree would also be nice.


See you in the gardens.


Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

February 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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