When many perennials are fading toward the end of the season, New York Asters (Aster novi-belgii) burst into bloom and deliver an outstanding show of color in the late summer and fall gardens. Native to North America, they are easy to grow, long lived, bring cheerful color to the dull landscape and are a great source of nectar for butterflies. Subject to intense breeding, there are over 1,000 cultivars with varying degrees of flower color and size.
- Blooming for many weeks from late summer to late fall, these eye-catching beauties readily enliven any sunny corner of the garden. Multi-stemmed, New York Asters form lovely sprays of rose-purple, lavender or white flowers, at the tips of stems clad with glabrous leaves. On cloudy days or at night, the flowers droop and close. As soon as the sun shines again, they pursue their glorious display and will do so for weeks.
- The smooth, shiny foliage of New York Asters ranges from mid green to purple tinted and is usually long, lance-shaped.
- Fast growing, New York Asters range from 12 in. to 6 ft. tall (30-180 cm). It should be noted that the height of each cultivar may vary significantly with the type of soil they are being grown in. As a general rule on free draining sandy soils the plants will be shorter than average, while on a rich, loamy soil they are likely to be taller than average. Deer resistant!
- New York Asters thrive in full sun or partial shade, in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Moist, rich soils are preferred. Provide good air circulation to avoid foliage diseases such as powdery mildew. Drought tolerant!
- Due to the wide range of height and habit, New York Asters are extremely versatile and you will find a suitable cultivar for any position in the garden. They are perfect for borders, cottage gardens, prairies or butterfly gardens. Compact varieties are ideal for growing in containers or in small gardens. New York Asters are also valued for the excellent quality of their cut flowers.
- Asters are a must if you are trying to attract birds or butterflies!
- Pinch back stems before mid summer to promote bushiness, produce a greater number of flowers and to control the plant height (to avoid flopping by the plant). Asters may self-seed if grown in ideal conditions. Cutting back after flowering will prevent undesired self-seeding.
- Native to moist soil and swamp areas from Newfoundland to Maine and Georgia.