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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
'Purple Dome' New England Aster
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New England Aster

Plant of the week!

Besides mums and sedums, this week's plant is one of the most popular in the fall garden, the New England aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'.

New England asters are excellent in the landscape because they can be easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun and are relatively pest and disease free. The best feature of course is the flowering though, which occurs in August through early October.

'Purple Dome' in particular is a dwarf cultivar that typically grows 18-24" tall and up to 3' wide with a low, bushy habit which is covered in blooms in the fall. When selecting a New England aster cultivar it is definitely beneficial to select a dwarf cultivar. The straight species tends to get rather tall and leggy and is not as attractive.

Similar to the other fall blooming perennials like mums and sedums, this aster will benefit from pinching back in June. This will help provide more branching which means more flowering and a more compact shape. I did not pinch my aster this year and it does not have as compact of a shape as it would if it was pinched. It's also closer to 36" tall as a result.

Various cultivars of New England aster are available so do some research before selecting your plant.

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