I have been working on a butterfly and pollinator garden with a local troop of Girl Scouts, and right now the asters are in full bloom! Brilliantly vibrant, these long blooming, cold hardy, late season perennials invite our native pollinators and butterflies to a hardy meal. The asters are helping them stock up for winter, and in the case of Monarchs, providing the sustenance to help them make the long journey home. Asters are a fantastic addition to sunny perennial beds and borders. They are excellent companion plants because they don’t steal the spotlight. They spend their summer as a dark green leafy clump until the summer bloomers have begun to exit the stage. Then right on cue, they make their grand entrance!
Asters grow best in full sun and moist, well drained soil. Avoid overhead watering to minimize issues with powdery mildew on the foliage. Varieties such as Purple Dome will reach heights around 24-36” while the more modest, but just as robust, Wood’s Asters grow to around 16”.