Content Detail

New York aster, also known as Michaelmas daisy, is a robust, upright native perennial with gray-green leaves and a dense crown of fall-blooming, purple, daisy-like flowers. A great addition to the late season perennial garden when combined with goldenrod and native grasses.

  • Family (English) Aster
  • Family (botanic) Asteraceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches), Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Occasional flooding, Road salt, Wet sites
  • Season of interest late summer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, Purple
  • Shape or form Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size and form:

New York aster is an upright perennial growing 3 to 5 feet high and wide. Shorter cultivars are available.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is found throughout North America in moist, wet meadows, wood edges, and coastal habitat. C-Value: 4

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Butterflies, bees, and other pollinators are attracted to New York aster.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

This perennial has alternate, simple, lanceolate to broadly linear leaves that are 3 to 5 inches long with a sessile or clasping thin stem. Upper leaf surfaces are stiff with pubescence underside, and the margins are slightly toothed.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

New York aster produces large panicles of showy, daisy-like, violet-blue flowers with a central ring of yellow florets in late summer into fall. Flower color varies by cultivar.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The seed has tufts of hairs that aid in wind dispersal.

Plant care:

New York aster prefers full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil. Prone to root rot if planted in consistently wet soil. To promote a more compact habit, pinch back tall forms before July, otherwise plants may need staking. To divide older plants, dig in spring, replant the vigorous side growth, and discard older center stems. To avoid fungal diseases, allow good air circulation between plants.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

This perennial can get powdery mildew, rust, and lace bugs. It is deer and rabbit resistant.

Blue Lagoon New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Blue Lagoon’):

This cultivar grows 20 to 24 inches and wide with a low, bushy habit. In fall, it produces clear blue daisy-like flowers.

Coombe Violet New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Coombe Violet’):

This upright, bushy cultivar grows 3 to 4 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide. It has gray-green leaves and, in fall, violet-purple flowers.

Henry III New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Henry III’):

Known for its double flowers.

Peter Harrison New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii  ‘Peter Harrison’):

This low, bushy cultivar grows only 12 to 18 inches high and wide. Pink flowers will bloom in the fall.

Professor Anton Kippenberg New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Professor Anton Kippenberg’):

This cultivar has a compact habit growing 1 to 2 feet high and wide. Its semi-double flowers bloom lavender-blue.

Raspberry Swirl New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Raspberry Swirl’):

It grows 18 to 24 inches high and wide and produces magenta-red flowers.

Royal Ruby New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Royal Ruby’):

This cultivar grow 20 to 30 inches high and produces semi-double red blooms in fall.


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