Mums the word
Fall is the time when so many gardeners rush out to buy chrysanthemums by the bucket load! Generally, mums will line the front of every shop and they are great for replacing fading annuals in your porch or landscaping, however, as a perennial, they can’t provide yearly blooms without some help. Since they were pampered by the plant nursery with the right amount of water, fertilization, and pesticides the mums can struggle when being translated and the pampering stops. If you are hoping for a hardy perennial that thrives in Indiana gardens with little to no pampering, there are a number of Asters that can provide great fall color and food for butterflies.
New England Aster – New England Aster is a full-sun herbaceous perennial that can reach 3 to 5 feet tall. It offers bright purple flowers without the need for weekly watering or fertilizer, and maintenance requires minimal pruning in early spring when it’s time to remove old stems from last season’s plants if you want them more compacted than they were at their originatein date (early summer). No matter what shape your star flower takes after being cut back during growing seasons; there’ll still be plenty of blooms!
Wood Pink Aster – The requirements for Symphyotrichum ‘Wood’s Pink’ are the same as New England aster, but it only reaches up to 2 feet tall. This makes them better suited in a border or on pathways where they can be less noticeable than other plants that tower over their surroundings as most flowers do. This particular type of flower has beautiful daisy-like petals with yellow centers which make these gorgeous additions to any garden.
The Perfect Aster.
The plant community is rich with beautiful flowers and plants that provide a home for bees, butterflies (and even beetles!), which in turn help to pollinate our crops. Asters are one such flower – they also are available in white and blue varieties ranging from 1 inch tall up 6 feet high!