As a member of the sunflower family, asters have become one of the most popular flowers in gardens around the world. These assorted blossoms are incredibly colourful and fragrant. As a result, they attract lots of wildlife, butterflies, bees and flies. There are believed to be over 180 species that are recognised as true asters.
Over the past 4,000 years, asters have been cultivated as ornaments and were burnt to ward off evil spirits. Asters also became a symbol of revolution in Hungary during the 20th Century and as a result, the event is still remembered as the Aster Revolution.
Whether you’ve already decided you’d like to grow asters at home, or just want to know more about this perennial flower, we’ve listed some of the most popular types of aster below.
Audrey is native to North America. This dwarf aster grows up to just 18 inches in height, but its bright colours make it stand out a great deal. These blooms boast lilac-pink petals with a bright yellow centre, which attracts visitors like butterflies. Audrey’s make for popular cut flowers and really add a wonderful pop of colour to any bouquet.
Chatterbox asters have lovely soft-pink petals and striking yellow centres. The flowers are lance-shaped with grey-green leaves and are known to grow to an impressive 16 inches in height. Also native to North America, the plant does best in full sun and moist soil.
The Fellowship aster is a lovely shade of pale pink that can grow to over two inches in width and has quill-shaped petals. The pink flowers bloom in the later months of summer and autumn and are renowned the world over, having won several international awards. The flower has slender dark green leaves that help the petals stand out beautifully.
First Snows are rather a unique type of aster. These low-growing flowers have very small petals that are bright white in colour. As with almost every other aster, the centre of a First Snow is bright yellow. It also grows amongst massive linear green leaves. These leaves look prickly but are actually very soft. The plant can grow up to two feet high and 40 inches wide.
Harrington’s Pink flowers have fine ray-like petals that are clear pink in colour. They can reach up to one inch in width and bloom in the late summer and autumn months. This New England aster has won multiple international awards and can grow up to six feet tall.
Jungfrau blooms from midsummer to autumn and produces huge quantities of flowers that are blue-purple in colour. They can grow up to three feet in height. This type of aster is quite popular in gardens as they are easy to grow and need no staking.
Grunder asters are large, deep-lavender, drought-resistant blooms with bright yellow centres. They have strong, upright stems and bloom in early to mid-fall. In the later seasons, grunder asters can add a splash of colour to any garden as their bright blossoms can grow up to 32 inches in height and two feet in width.
Little Carlow blossoms have small, single petals that are lavender coloured with bright yellow centres. They are elegant looking and boast dark green leaves. These flowers bloom in late summer and early autumn and are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.
Monch asters are perennial plants that add a bold splash of lavender-blue to their environment. This type of aster can grow up to three feet tall, and have also won several international awards.
Nanus asters are star-shaped, lilac-blue and also have bright yellow centres. These flowers are native to Europe. They also have sturdy stems and dark-green leaves. These low maintenance plants are popular as potted plants and look beautiful in vases alongside other flowers too.
This herbaceous perennial has won numerous awards and accolades. It can grow up to five feet tall and three feet wide. The plant’s pink, star-shaped flowers bloom in mid to late autumn and sit amongst narrow, dark green leaves that help highlight the subtle pink of the petals.
This aster is so named because of its spiky, sky-blue flowers that bloom in the later months of summer. These bushy plants can reach up to two feet in height and supply plenty of nectar for bees and butterflies to feast on.
Purple Dome asters are daisy-like flowers with deep purple petals and sunny yellow centres. They are so named because they close up when it gets dark or cloudy and open back up when the sun returns.
These purple-pink blossoms grow in abundance from early to mid-autumn. This type of aster can grow up to 20 inches in both width and length and looks beautiful in any garden, vase or container.
Royal Ruby asters are unique in that their centres are a berry-red colour with just a touch of yellow. These colours perfectly complement the dark-green leaves of the plant’s bush. Its stems are sturdy, which is why these blossoms are often used as border plants.
Snow Flurry asters have also won multiple awards all around the world. They grow in large, dense bushes and boast attention-grabbing arching stems. These pale purple flowers can reach up to six inches in height and their bushes can spread up to two feet in width.
Wood’s Pink asters make for striking flowers with their cheery-pink petals. They bloom in the later summer and early months of autumn and can grow up to 18 inches tall. These flowers bloom well in full sunlight and make for excellent border flowers and edging.
Sapphire asters have bright, bushy, fluffy petals. These flowers are large and lilac-blue in colour. They grow very skinny, dark green leaves with rough edges. Sapphire bushes can grow up to two feet tall, which is why they look wonderful in containers and vases. These flowers last for quite some time, so they are often used for display in containers and vases.
Not only are there multiple types of aster, this flower is laden with meaning too. We already know that it wards off evil spirits and has ties to a revolution, but it’s also one of the birth flowers for September, and a powerful symbol of love!
Heard enough? It’s time to get planting! Read our full guide on where, when and how to grow aster flowers.