Asters are a hardy perennial that mostly bloom in late summer and autumn in the Mid-Atlantic region. Asters are native to Europe and
North America. There are over 600 species in the Asteraceae family. They are deer-resistant, easy-to-grow, and vigorous plants.
The flowers are daisy-like in shape and come in shades of white, pink, lavender, and blue with a yellow center. The most popular variety is the New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae). Other popular Aster varieties include: 'Wood's Blue,' 'Monch,' and 'October Skies."
Their use in the garden is mostly as a filler plant in borders. They tend to get leggy and flop, so stake them or place them next to a plant or other feature that they can lean on. Look for some of the shorter, bushier cultivars to avoid the flopping. You can also try “pinching” them or cutting them back in late June to control their height.
Asters prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Once established, they are fairly drought-tolerant. They attract butterflies and make good cut-flowers as well.
All who are involved with You Can Grow That! (YCGT!) believe that plants and gardening enhance our quality of life. We want people to be successful with what they grow and to become more aware of the many gifts that horticulture brings. Find out more at http://www.youcangrowthat.com/.