New England Aster

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Aster de la Nouvelle-Angleterre

Large rose-purple flowers, with very numerous rays which tend to bloom in profusion. Clasping leaves. Rough stem. Leaves smell a bit spicy when crushed. Provides color and contrast to the fall perennial border front. Mass or plant in groups. Also effective naturalized in drifts in meadows or in native or wildflower gardens.

Beautiful lilac coloured blooms with orange centres. Multi stemmed, fast growing, deer resistent and drought tolerant.

Great for cut flower bouqets.

Great source of nectar for butterflies. Bees and birds also browse these flowers.

New England Aster is an eye-catching perennial that will mature to about 5 feet. It is a very important plant for late season pollinators, as its bloom time is August through October. The flower color is variable, ranging from lavender to blue to white. Can be thoughtfully included in many gardens.

Video on Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Planting Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

There are 3 ways you can plant Aster: from seed, from stem cuttings and from division.
Start seeds indoors, sprinkle one or 2 seeds in starter pots half filled with soil, barely cover them (about 1/8″), place in indirect sunlight, keep moist (but not soggy), thin the seedlings when they have one set of leaves, keeping the stronger one. After the last frost, acclimate the seedlings outside (2 hours per day for the first 3-4 days), then tansplant the seedlings outdoors.
To divide, cut straight down through the roots, and re-plant the removed portion elsewhere.

Companion plant suggestions include Asclepias incarnata, Rudbeckia subtomentosa, Chrysanthemums, Sunflowers, Asteraceae

Caring for New England Aster

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers moist, rich soils. Pinching back stems several times before mid-July will help control plant height, promote bushiness and perhaps obviate the need for staking. Pinching back will also delay flowering.

Aster novae-angliae sometimes has issues with powdery mildew. To prevent the disease give plants good growing conditions and space for air circulation.

It is happiest in Prefers rich, moist soil.

In terms of water, New England Aster needs Medium

Pruning Aster de la Nouvelle-Angleterre

Every 2-3 years the Aster needs to be divided and cut back as it is a fast-growing plant.


New England Aster is relatively pest free but can be susceptible to powdery mildew which can be contained by planting in full sun, not watering the leaves, increasing air quality and buying high quality plants, as low quality plants have more potential to suffer from it.

In the early 1700’s, travellers from England and parts of Europe brought the plant with them and that is when North American cultivation of the plant began. The roots have been widely used by indigenous people medicinally to help pain, diarrhea, fevers and more. It was also used by the Chippewa who smoked the roots in pipes to attract game.