Perennial Aster, the Late Bloomer
Perennial aster plants are late season bloomers and they come in a wide range of colours: pink, yellow, blue, red and purple.
Gardeners from all over the world appreciate them for their hardiness, beauty and touch of autumn charm. In fact it’s impossible to imagine an autumn garden without asters. There are almost six hundred varieties of them to satisfy any taste. Generally speaking, these perennials flourish in sunny locations of your garden, in a moist soil, rich in organic matter.
The most popular varieties of perennial asters include:
- Aster Novae-angliae, or New England Aster. It is one of the most spectacular varieties of the Aster family, tall and showy. This species can reach up to five feet in height and looks perfect as a border plant. The blooms of this Aster are two coloured, yellow centres create a nice contrast with violet petals. The stems of the plants are hairy and sturdy, making this variety a perfect cut flower. New England Aster will thrive in a sunny place with a moist soil.
- Aster Divaricatus, or White Wood Aster grows up to eighteen inches. This variety is rather unique in comparison with other Asters because it actually prefers shady places. That means you do not have to avoid the shade locations of your garden while planting Asters: you can enjoy these beautiful flowers regardless the light conditions. The blooming period of these plants starts in late summer and they produce small white flowers. With age these blooms become slightly pinkish. This Aster has a tendency to aggressive spreading, which is why it is advisable to thin it out from time to time.
- Aster Novi-belgii, or the New York Aster. This variety grows up to four feet and comes in pink, red, white, blue and violet bloom. In general it reminds you a lot the New England Aster, but its stem is thinner and the whole plant is a little smaller. Growing characteristics are just the same.
- Aster Carolinianus, or the Climbing Aster. As its name implies, this plant is climbing vine, growing up to ten or even twenty feet. Its foliage is greyish green, and the flowers are pink turning purple with age. The plant blooms in autumn and looks exceedingly beautiful growing up a trellis or fence. The only disadvantage of the Climbing Aster is that it loses its leaves in winter and does not look particularly attractive in spring.
There are also other varieties that will definitely enhance the beauty of your garden without requiring too much time and effort. For example, you can opt for Aster Amellus, Aster Cordifolius, Aster Ericoides, Aster Farreri, Aster Linosyris, Aster Thomsonii, and Aster Tongolensis.
Perennial Asters are especially valued because they bloom in the autumn when most flowering plants have already finished their flowering period and have started dying back. The beauty of Aster flowers is especially spectacular in combination with changing colours of trees in autumn. Choosing Asters for your garden, you ensure having a diversity of colour for a few months, from the end of summer till the first frosts in late autumn.