Erigeron [Er-IJ-er-on] is a slender species of plants from the Compositae/Asteraceae family or Aster family, a diverse genus including more than 170 species around the globe.
Native plants to Mexico and established in numerous dry gardens and Mediterranean areas in Britain.
It’s often found along roadsides and open spaces because it produces seeds easily, which are fluffy and easily carried by wind and water.
This plant is a favorite of gardeners as it offers a variety of daisies, including biennials, perennials, or annuals.
The genus name originates from the Greek word “Eri” meaning early and “Geron” meaning old man, a reference to its early bloom time and downy appearance suggestive of a white beard of an old man.
This plant received the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society.
The common names for Erigeron include:
- Mexican fleabane
- Latin American fleabane
Some other popular species of Erigeron include:
- Erigenon Annuus (Annual Fleabane)
- Erigeron Canadensis (Canadian Horseweed)
- Erigeron Karvinskianus (Santa Barbara Daisy)
- Erigeron Glaucus (Seaside Daisy)
- Erigeron Philadelphicus
- Erigeron Concinnus
- Erigeron Pulchellus
- Erigeron Foliosus
- Erigeron Blochmaniae
- Erigeron Speciosus
- Erigeron Parishii A. Gray
- Erigeron Peregrinus
- Erigeron Pumilus
- Erigeron Lonchophyllus
- Erigeron Hyssopifolius
- Erigeron Aequifolius
- Erigeron Filifolius
- Erigeron Glabellus (Streamside Fleabane)
- Erigeron Neomexicanus (New Mexico Fleabane)
- Erigeron Radicatus (Tap-root Fleabane)
- Erigeron Cronquistii (Cronquist’s Fleabane)
Erigeron Plants Care
Size & Growth
This plant typically forms a full mat spreading around 6” inches in height.
The leaves which are produced along its stem are clasping, toothed, narrow, and also somewhat hairy.
Flowering and Fragrance
Erigeron produces composite flowers.
This plant’s symmetrical flowering structure is categorized by a bright yellow center and wide central disk around which white to pinkish petal-shaped, short ray florets are formed.
The rays are short compared to the central disk width.
The flower heads are around 0.5” inches wide, which open white but gradually turn pinkish-purple in color.
Depending on the species of this plant, the colors of the flowers might range from purple, orange, yellow, lavender, pink, or white.
The flowers start blooming in the early summer or early autumn.
Light & Temperature
Fleabane prefers full sun to partial shade.
However, they grow the best when placed under full sun.
For the process of germination, the seeds need proper light.
Moreover, the process of germination needs to be done with a temperature between 53° – 55° degrees Fahrenheit (11° – 13° C).
USDA hardiness zone 5 – 8.
Watering and Feeding
Water this plant so the soil is moist but isn’t soaking wet.
While these plants don’t like waterlogged soil, they do well in spaces with slower water drainage than required by most plants.
For young plants, frequent watering is essential until the plant is established.
Ensure the soil is moist and water if it feels dry to the touch.
During the summer, light rain is not sufficient to penetrate the roots of this plant.
Moreover, dry weather leads to water shortage and gradual damage to the plant.
It’s best to fertilize with liquid feed in the spring every two to three weeks.
Soil & Transplanting
Erigeron plants adapt pretty well to any soil, which eliminates the requirement to work compost or perform other amendments to the soil.
It isn’t even fussy about the pH levels of the soil, making it a rather simple plant to grow.
Grooming and Maintenance
This plant doesn’t require a lot of care; it’s simple to grow and maintain.
When planting Erigeron, it’s best to water only when the soil feels dry to assist in establishing its root system.
During the fall season, after the blooming period has passed, the crown should be cut as short as it possibly can, snip the stems down to around 4” inches from the crown.
This helps to stimulate new growth and enhances the following blooming season.
How To Propagate Fleabane
Propagation of this plant is done through seeds.
- Plant the seeds on the surface during the early autumn or early spring.
- The germination process requires three weeks.
- Grow this plant under full sun or partial shade in an area with good drainage.
Propagation is also done through division, during autumn or spring.
- Replant large clumps directly in their permanent spots.
- Ideally, opt for smaller clumps and place them in a cold frame until they start forming roots.
- They should be planted out during the spring season.
When planting Fleabane indoors, it’s best to prepare the plant eight weeks before they have to be planted out in the early spring or early autumn.
Mexican Fleabane Pest or Diseases
While these plants don’t usually suffer from diseases or pests, it’s best to be on a lookout for aphid infestations, fungal rusts, leaf spots, and mildews.
Erigeron Plants Uses
Erigeron plants work best planted in rock gardens, edges, or flower beds.
They look stunning during the spring and fall season because they bloom generously.
They are ideal for planting in a coastal garden, low maintenance garden, wildlife garden, cottage garden, as a ground cover, or on the patio.
The leaves of these plants are edible, but the furry texture makes them unpleasant to eat so add the leaves to other greens to be cooked.