There are more than 600 species of true asters, ranging from 6-in.-high alpine kinds forming compact mounds to open-branching 6-ft.-tall plants. Flowers come in white or shades of blue, red, pink, lavender, or purple, mostly with yellow centers. Bloom time comes in late summer to early fall, except as noted.
Taller asters are invaluable for abundant color in large borders or among shrubs. Large sprays effective in arrangements. Compact dwarf or cushion types make tidy edgings, mounds of color in rock gardens, good container plants.
True asters are adapted to most soils, but growth is most luxuriant in fertile soil. They have few problems except for mildew on leaves in late fall. Strong-growing hybrids have invasive roots; they can regrow from small fragments left in soil and spread to become nuisances. Divide yearly in late fall or early spring. Replant vigorous young divisions from outside of clump; discard old center. Divide smaller, tufted, less vigorously growing kinds every 2 years.Aster lateriflorus
North American native. Species grows to 4 ft. tall, 1 ft.wide. Garden selections are shorter (to 2 ft.), with profuse branching, tiny leaves, and a haze of small purplish pink flowers. Foliage turns a coppery purplish red in early fall.
Stems and tiny leaves are blackish-purple; blooms are white with a purplish-red center.
Native to Europe, North Africa. Probably best as multistemmed tree; grows moderately quickly to 7...
Native from California’s desert mountains east to New Mexico and Texas, north to Wyoming. Grows ...
Native to western North America; the state flower of Idaho. Fountain-shaped, loosely branched shrub 4&...