Friday, December 7, 2018

Ageratum 'Blue Planet': Another Heavenly Favorite of the National Garden Bureau

Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Planet' - Photo Credit: National Garden Bureau

If you've been staring off into space wondering what you'll plant in your garden next year, here's a discovery for you: Ageratum 'Blue Planet'. Folks at the National Garden Bureau - in cooperation with various growers, test gardens and gardeners - are always on the hunt for exciting new introductions. I believe you'll like it as well.

'Blue Planet' is a fine new variety of Ageratum houstonianum. Ageratum refers to the fact that it doesn't wither quickly. The species name, houstonianum, honors Dr. William Houston (c. 1795-1733), a Scottish-born surgeon and botanist who collected plants in Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. The species also goes by the name A. mexicanum. A common name is "Flossflower."

Ageratum is well-known among gardeners for its late summer to early fall bloom, but 'Blue Planet' is something special. Its ray-shaped, thread-like flowers last longer; it branches and maintains good form without the need for pinching. 'Blue Planet' is a fine addition to the late-season annual garden.

Here are some growing tips:

Bloom Color: Blue.

Bloom Time: Late summer to fall.

Foliage: Herbaceous, green.

Height/Spread: 24" to 36". Space 12" apart.

Climate Zones: Not applicable. Ageratum is grown as an annual.

Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.

Soil Condition: Rich, well-drained. pH 6.1 to 7.8

Features: Compact habit, abundance of flowers, heat tolerant, rain and wind tolerant. Attracts butterflies. Germinates from seed in approximately 85 to 100 days.

Uses: Massed planting, annual beds, mixed borders, container gardens, indoor containers, cutting garden.

Comments: ''Blue Planet" is set for release in 2019. National Garden Bureau comments, "Long-lasting blooms like tiny explosions are out of this world in gardens or containers, and especially planted in mass. This tall ageratum branches without being pinched back and flowers prolifically. Accents well with bright white flowers in the garden bed or in bouquets."

Have you used Ageratum in your garden? Tell us about it in the comment section. We'd love to hear from you!

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