Fleabane is a name that is used for a variety of different plants. The most common genus it's associated with is Erigeron, which is part of the Aster or Daisy family.
There are over 200 different Erigeron species, and several of them have fleabane as part of their common name. Perhaps the most widely available and well known of these species is Erigeron karvinskianus—also known as Mexican fleabane.
This is a pretty little perennial flower that closely resembles a traditional Daisy. Part of Mexican fleabanes' appeal is that they are easy to grow, versatile, and the abundant little flowers appear through the spring, summer, and even into the fall.
When the flowers first bloom, they're white in color. They gradually turn to soft shades of pink and then purple. They're also a favorite with the pollinators, like bees and butterflies.
Growing close to the ground, Mexican fleabane is known for forming in mounds that can cascade over edges. This makes it a popular choice for adding to containers, hanging baskets, window boxes, and raised beds. It'll even grow between the cracks in pavers and walls, so this makes it well suited to wildflower or cottage garden settings.
As the name suggests, this drought-tolerant plant is native to Mexico and is well suited to being grown in hot and dry climates. This means it also works well in Mediterranean-style or rock gardens.
Many gardeners use it as a delicate ground cover because of its ease of spread. With its rhizomatous roots and self-seeding capabilities, though, it can take over spaces if you aren't careful.
|Botanical Name||Erigeron karvinskianus|
|Common Name||Mexican fleabane, Mexican daisy, seaside daisy|
|Plant Type||Perennial, herbaceous|
|Mature Size||Up to 2 ft. tall|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun, partial shade|
|Soil pH||Acid, neutral, alkaline|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer, fall|
|Flower Color||White to pink and purple|
|Hardiness Zones||5 - 9, USA|
Once established, Mexican fleabane is a hardy plant that is known for being drought tolerant and long-lived.
It appreciates plenty of sun and well-drained and fertile soil, and, in these ideal conditions, it can spread prolifically.
Although Mexican fleabane prefers a sunny position, it can still grow in partial shade—it just might not flower as abundantly.
The best results for Mexican fleabane are seen when it's planted in fertile and well-drained soil. However, it's pretty robust, and this is why it can still do well growing in rock gardens and paving cracks.
Once established Mexican fleabane is known for being drought-tolerant. While it's establishing, it does best when watered regularly. This is especially important during hot summers when care should be taken to ensure the soil isn't left dry for prolonged periods.
Temperature and Humidity
Unsurprisingly, Mexican fleabane does well in warmer climates. It isn't a fan of excessively cold or damp winters, but it can still survive in USDA zone five. In these temperatures, Mexican fleabane benefits from dry mulching during the winter, and a sunny summer season and well-drained conditions are vital.
Monthly applications of liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer growing season will help to boost Mexican fleabane flowering potential.
Deadheading spent flowers can promote a prolonged blooming period. By cutting it back heavily in the fall, this can help to keep the new growth compact and not overly leggy.
Propagating Mexican Fleabane
This plant grows very easily from seeds, but it's also possible to divide clumps in the spring and replant the sections.
How to Grow Mexican Fleabane From Seed
Best results are seen from Mexican fleabane seeds germinated indoors. Thinly sow the seeds close to the surface of a moist medium and position them on a warm windowsill. They need plenty of light and consistent moisture for success.
Germination usually takes around two to four weeks, and they should be hardened off before planting in their outdoor position.
The seeds can be sown out directly in late spring to summer if the temperatures are warm enough. They may even germinate when scattered across paving cracks or added to clay in the holes in walls. They can then be thinned out as necessary after germination.
One of the advantages of Mexican fleabane is that it's virtually disease and pest-free.