Native Nectar Plant - New England Aster

(Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

October 19, 2016

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.  

Give the Monarch butterflies a nutrient boost for their long migration south with the help of the New England Aster. You, the monarchs and bees will find these North American natives growing along roadsides, in meadows and prairies. Consider adding a few to your garden.

These fall beauties are hardy in zones 3 to 8 and native to over 40 states and 6 Canadian provinces.  The flowers are larger than most asters and colors range from blue-purple to lavender pink with a yellow center. Enjoy the flowers in the garden or cut a few for fall bouquets. And you’ll be glad to know, the deer tend to leave them be.

You’ll need to stake these 6 feet tall flowers or surround them with sturdy neighbors like goldenrod, switchgrass or other ornamental grasses.  Or pinch plants back to 6 inches throughout June and early July to keep plants more compact.

A bit more information:  Don’t be alarmed when finding holes in the leaves. The damage is likely from beneficial insects like the leaf cutter bee or the larvae (caterpillars) of moths.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit