Stokes' Aster

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Alice O'Brien.

Stokes' aster, also known as stokesia, is native to southeastern United States. It begins blooming sporadically in late spring but is prized for its midsummer and fall flower show. A favorite stopping point for pollinators, Stokes' aster has lavender, pink, or white cornflower-like flowers. Wonderful for cutting flowers and a great drought-tolerant plant for native and wildflower plantings, Stokes' aster is a showy, reliable perennial. 

Stokes' Aster Overview

Genus Name Stokesia laevis
Common Name Stokes' Aster
Plant Type Perennial
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 1 to 3 feet
Width 1 to 1 feet
Flower Color Blue, Pink, White
Foliage Color Chartreuse/Gold
Season Features Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant

Stokes' Aster Care Must-Knows

Stokes' aster grows best in full sun or part shade and fertile, well-drained soil. Choose a planting site that receives at least 6 hours of bright sunlight a day for best blossoms. Tolerant of both heat and dry conditions, after it establishes a strong root system, Stokes' aster grows well in tough planting sites. Rabbits often devour Stokes' aster. If planted in an area with a large rabbit population, be sure to provide protection by installing a chicken wire fence.

Remove spent flowers as soon as they droop to promote reblooming. Shear plants in midsummer, if needed, to create dense new growth. In Zone 5, cover plants with a thick layer of mulch in late fall for winter protection. Plants can be divided every two or three years in early spring.

Stokes' Aster Companion Plants

Reinvigorate the garden in late summer with Stokes' aster. Pair it with other fall favorites and the autumn garden will close the growing season in blooming style. Great perennials to plant with Stokes' aster for fall perennial plantings include monkshood, anise hyssop, snakeroot, stonecrop, globe thistle, sneezeweed, Russian sage, meadow sage, and toad lily. If late summer- and fall-blooming perennials burst into bloom earlier than anticipated, deadhead the plants as soon as the blossoms fade to encourage another round of flowers to develop.

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