In your garden if you intend to grow low-care plants, like the aster. They do not need to be over watered or over fertilized and prefer full sun or light shade and good drainage. It is a water-wise choice for rock gardens or xeriscaping.  To encourage fuller blooms and a more compact mounding habit, simply cut them back by a third around begining of July.

The plant requiring minimum care is wild fall aster (Aster oblongifolius) sometimes called “Aromatic American” or “Prairie Aster.” This lovely flower survives through hot summer with textured foliage. during late fall, it bursts forth with an explosion of lavender, yellow-centered, daisy-like flowers.

Some companion plants for the aster are Mexican mint marigold, Copper Canyon daisy, Mexican bush sage, marigolds, white purple trailing lantana or Philippine violets.

Aster is one of our toughest and latest blooming perennials and will extend color in your landscape into late autumn.Because perennials return from the same root stock each year, they are a favorite choice of the frugal and informed gardener.

When cutting back perennials and mulching for the winter season, it is a good idea to place a marker on the spots so you will not inadvertently dig them up in a burst of spring enthusiasm.  Adding a heavier layer of mulch on top of them in late fall will hold the soil’s natural warmth and help preserve most perennials, even throughout the coldest winters. In a mild winter, the native aster may not have to be cut back at all.

Aster is the Latin word for star, and its prolific daisy-like blooms mimic that definition. In medieval times, asters were believed to repel snakes. A popular hybrid is the Michaelmas Daisy.

There are about 250 species worldwide including six native perennial asters that are hard to tell apart. Because the wild fall aster is not commonly stocked by most garden centers, you are most likely to find them in a nursery that specializes in native plants or wildflowers.

Regular division of asters will keep them healthy and resistant to disease although they have few pest or disease problems. It colonizes by rhizomes, but is easily contained. The foliage is attractive, but can almost be overlooked until blooms appear making it a good filler plant.

It is a favorite nectar source for bees, small to medium-sized butterflies, and skippers that arrive in late autumn.Propagation is best accomplished by cuttings or division.

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