new england aster aster novae-angliaeIf you want to attract butterflies to your garden, planting asters is a good start. There are so many asters to choose from — and butterflies like them all — but New England asters are the most popular. These easy-to-grow perennials have flowers in red, pink, purple or white, all with a yellow center. Because asters bloom in late summer, they provide a food source after all the summer-blooming plants have finished.
Plant asters in full sun and well-drained soil. Space them so air can circulate between the plants to reduce the chances of powdery mildew. Water at the base of the plants too — not overhead. On a warm autumn afternoon you may have trouble finding the flowers under all the feasting butterflies.
TYPE Perennial SIZE 10 in. to 5 ft. tall and 15 to 36 in. wide BLOOM Late summer to fall LIGHT Full sun SOIL Well-drained PESTS Powdery mildew HARDINESS Cold: USDA zones 4 to 8; Heat: AHS zones 8 to 1