The best plants for your landscape are free right? It’s really cool when you can exchange plants, seeds and cuttings with friends and family. And that’s just what our neighbor, Julie has done. She’s got a line of old fashioned powder-puff purple aster flowering shrubs growing at the back of her property.
These were “found” near a lake growing wild down in Warsaw, IN and transplanted to a home garden. From there they were split the next spring and brought to Julie’s where they have been giving us a super show every October for the past 2 years.
Next Spring, Julie plans to split hers and share them with yours truly! How about that? The pictures don’t really do them justice, but the aster look like someone plugged them into a light socket! Just look at the bright purple they put off, and just at the right time as pretty much every other perennial is spent and done for the season.
The old fashion aster will grow to 3 feet tall and abut 2-3 feet wide. The best thing is that you can find them growing on the side of the road around cornfields all over Indiana and the Midwest. They are also found wild all over the East Coast.
If you really like aster, but don’t like the adventure of “commandeering” wild plants from the side of the road, you can purchase aster at your local home and garden center or nursery. You can also grow them from seed. Here is a list of common aster you may find.
Dwarf Asters: are usually used in pots, containers or at the front of gardens as edging. These are usually 8-12 inches tall.
Spider aster flowers have petals that are quite thin, come in a range of colors and tend to grow 18-14 inches tall.
Powderpuffs – are an old fashioned type that look like, well a powderpuff – ball of petals. The old fashioned ones are quite tall – in the 36 inch range.
Single Flowering are daisy type blooms and tend to be taller varieties.
Semi-Double The name says it all – the flowers have more than a single row of petals but not a full double.
Double The petals on these are a full double flower and resemble pom-poms in the garden