I spend plenty of time talking to you about Gregg’s Blue Mistflower in late summer to early fall. The fuzzy, baby-blue flowers it produces are a magnet to nectar-seeking Queen butterflies and Monarchs also drop in for a snack during their fall migration. But I would be remiss not to talk to you about Fragrant White Mistflower which takes center stage once the blooms of summer perennials fade. Fragrant White Mistflower is another plant you just might have to add to your pollinator garden arsenal this year. Take a look and I bet you see why.
Check out all the buds about to burst to into bloom!
Growing Fragrant White Mistflower in San Antonio Gardens
Fragrant White Mistflower (Ageratina havanensis), also known as Shrubby White Boneset or Havana Snakeroot, is a beautiful, native, perennial plant that offers late season nectar to our local pollinators. It is a member of the Aster family and produces stunning white flowers that bloom from fall to early winter in San Antonio. Bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects are attracted to the plant’s sweet fragrance and nectar-rich flowers. Fragrant White Mistflower is also a larval host plant to the Rawson’s Metalmark butterfly. By providing food and habitat for these important creatures, gardeners can help support local ecosystems and promote biodiversity.
Fragrant White Mistflower is also relatively easy to grow and care for. Hooray! It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The plant can tolerate drought conditions very well once established, but it will benefit from regular watering during dry spells. Fertilizing the plant with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and summer will help promote healthy growth and abundant blooms.
The plant’s mature growth habit is a compact, bushy shrub that generally tops out at 2-3 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide (although, it could get larger), making it a great choice for home gardens. Root hardy to zone 7 (which is 5°F) and heat and drought tolerant, make Fragrant White Mistflower an excellent choice for San Antonio.
On the way to being covered in blooms!
At bloom time, the plant becomes absolutely covered with showy flowers. This mistflower will actually bloom sporadically from spring through summer, but it’s late fall when it really puts on its big show. It’s important to note that once Fragrant White Mistflower finishes blooming in winter, you need to shear the plant heavily. This plant only produces blooms on new wood, so shearing after flowering ensures that your Fragrant White Mistflower will be encouraged to grow denser foliage in spring and the same, or even more, profuse blooms the following fall.
When summer passes and you are still yearning for butterfly activity in your landscape, Fragrant White Mistflower will do the job. If you like plants that carry a soft, sweet, heavenly scent, this is also the pick for you.
~The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy