Along with mums and salvias, Asters are the swan song of late season flowering color in the garden. There is a wide array of flower color and size as well as plant height. Asters are also easy to grow!

Asters belong to one of the largest, most diverse flowering plant families, Asteraceae. They have evolved to utilize insects and wind for extremely efficient pollination and seed dispersal. (Just think of the dandelion!) Asters are native throughout the globe with nearly fifty species native to the Pacific Northwest. In an effort to narrow this vast family, this article will focus on perennial species commonly used in the garden.

Taller varieties are wonderful cut flowers and combine well with ornamental grasses, golden rod (Solidago) and roses that make good hips (such as R. rugosa). Shorter varieties provide mounds of bright color in containers and boarder edging. They combine well with ornamental cabbage and kale, oregano 'Kent Beauty' and low evergreen shrubs such as heather (Erica).

Featured species:

Aster dummosus: New York Aster

Compact plants growing 12-24" tall and wide. They are hybrids of A. nova-belgi, and often referenced under that species name. Great for the front border and containers. Hardy in zones 4-8.

Varieties include:

Aster 'Professor Kippenburg'

Aster dummosus: ‘Professor Kippenburg’

Lavender-blue flowers and bright gold centers.

Grows 12-24" tall and 24"wide

Aster 'Woods Blue'

Aster dummosus: 'Woods Blue' or 'Woods Pink'

Lavender blue or rich pink flowers with bright yellow centers

Grows 12-16" tall 16" wide

Excellent mildew and rust resistance

Aster 'Prince'

Aster lateriflorus 'Prince'

Fantastic burgundy foliages contrasts with small white flowers with pink centers

Grows 2-3' tall 18"wide

Hardy in zones 4-8

aster x frikartii 'moench'

Aster x frikartii ‘Moench’: Fricartii Aster

A very long blooming aster (summer to fall) with large lavender flowers.

Grows to 24” tall and 12-20” wide

Light: full to partial sun

Water: regular water.

Zone 4-9.

Aster nova-angliae: New England Aster

This group includes tall, showy cultivars perfect for the back of the border or weaved in among shrubs. They are native to northeastern damp meadows. The cluster blooms show off.. Bloom time: August through September. Fabulous cut flowers. Hardy to zone 4.

Some favorite varieties include:

aster 'alma potschke'

Aster nova-angliae: ‘Alma Potschke’

A show stopper with hot pink thread-like petals on tall 4’ stems.

New England Aster 'Purple Dome' (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) (5651136965)

Aster nova-angliae: ‘Purple Dome’

A compact grower to 18-24” high & wide

Royal purple, semi-double blooms are complimented by bronzy bracts

Hardy in zones 4-8

This one pairs beautifully with ornamental grasses such as Carex testacea and Pennisetum ‘Moudry’.

Aster novi-belgii: New York Aster, Michaelmas Daisy

These asters are similar to their New England cousins but shorter with smooth toothed leaves. Most commonly found available with other fall color plants such as mums. 18-24" tall and wide. Hardy to zones 3-9. Perfect in containers

Varieties include:

Henri I

Double light blue flowers 12-18" tall

Marie III

Dark pink double flowers

aster 'alma potschke'

Aster pringlei ‘Monte Casino’

Clouds of tiny white flowers set this aster apart. The airy texture of this plant makes it the perfect filler in the garden or vase.

Grows 3’ high and wide

Hardy in zones 5-9.

Find the Best Perennials for your Garden

We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.


Lewisia: Bitterroot