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Asters: A Fall Powerhouse

Looking for something new to add to your fall garden? Check out the fall-blooming asters - a fresh alternative to mums and a wonderful plant to provide that pop of color often needed in the waning fall garden.

Asters are a fantastic fall-blooming perennial. Bold colors, pest-resistant and a pollinator magnet, these plants will continue to bloom until frost. Plus, leave them standing through the winter, and they add a wonderful structure to the winter garden!

The name "aster" comes from the Greek word for 'star'. Their daisy-like flowers look like little stars and bloom from late summer - early fall. Asters range in colors from blue, purple, pink to white. They are easy to grow, loved by pollinators and provide a constant display of vibrant blooms year after year.

There are over 150 native asters in North America and even more worldwide. Until a few decades ago, asters had an easy botanical name to remember - Aster. Though European asters still use the latin name "Aster" (lucky them!), here in the US, most native asters are now in the genus Symphoyotrichum (pronounced: sim-fy-oh-TRY-kum). Sheesh what a name!

The most common asters in North America are the New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) and the New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii). Both are native to North America and provide excellent sources of late-season pollen for bees and other pollinators.

Plant asters in the garden with other late-season perennials such as sedum, ornamental grasses and goldenrod. Or use them in a patio planter instead of (or in combination with) fall mums. Either way, you are sure to enjoy these blooming beauties for weeks on end!


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