Alphabetical Plant Listing

Aster amellus (Italian Asters)

Italian Aster, Italian Starwort, Michaelmas Daisy, Fall Aster (Aster Amellus)


Providing a bold splash of color in the late season garden with its masses of lavender-blue starry flowers, Italian Aster (Aster amellus) is one of the first Asters to bloom, doesn't need staking and is not sensitive to mildew. Native to Europe, it is easy to grow, is long lived, brings cheerful fall color and is a great source of nectar for butterflies! As opposed to the New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) or the New York Aster (Aster novi-belgii), it doesn't produce tall, pyramidal plants, but the size and beauty of its blossoms, coupled with its neat and compact habit, make the Italian Aster among the most desirable of all Fall Asters.

  • Blooming for many weeks from late summer to mid fall, this eye-catching beauty easily enlivens any sunny corner of the garden. Multi-stemmed, most Italian Asters form lovely star-shaped blossoms, up to 2 in. wide (5 cm), usually in shades of violet-blue although some cultivars can be pale pink to deep purple-pink. The flowering sprays are upright with woody stems clad with hairy lanceolate to obovate leaves.
  • Fast growing, up to 16-30 in. tall (40-70 cm)
  • Thrives in full sun in averagemedium moisturewell-drained soilsModerately fertilealkaline soils are preferred. Provide good air circulation to avoid foliage diseases such as powdery mildew. Drought tolerant!
  • Vital ingredient of late summer and fall borderscottage gardensprairies or butterfly gardens. 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 early summer to promote bushiness and produce a greater number of flowers.

Aster amellus, commonly known as Italian Aster, belongs to the Asteraceae family, which also includes yarrows, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers. The Genus Aster contains over 600 species and thousands of hybrid varieties, providing a wide choice to pick from, as they all vary in habit, height, flower color, leaf shape and growing conditions.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Asters
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 3' (30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 3' (30cm - 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow, Traditional Garden

/ 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Asters
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 3' (30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 3' (30cm - 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow, Traditional Garden
Not sure which Asters to pick?
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