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Fall Wildflowers Report from jmorth's Garden

By jmorth
November 17, 2013

New England Asters are starring in this show. These are the 6' wild kind, mostly purple, some pink. Absolute butterfly magnet, often 5 or 7 varieties on sunny days. The rich purple of the asters is complemented by the shiny gold on tall Goldenrod which tops out at up to 10 ft. Another wildflower, the golden sunflower, Maximilian, is also in prime flowering mode. It is a very floriferous fall sunflower that also can be a huge Monarch attractant just before the Monarch migration passes through here in the fall.

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Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Aug 10, 2017 9:08 AM CST
Hi @jmorth,

Lovely article. I love the controlled wildness of your garden.

After seeing some of your butterfly pictures, I planted a New England Aster (last fall). It's come up nicely for a new plant--it's about 5 feet tall and has several stalks. It was very, very small last fall.

However, it's almost mid August and it's not blooming yet. I'm wondering if it might be common for new NEAs to not have flowers their first year?

This is now:
Thumb of 2017-08-10/joannakat/c289f4

And this was in May:
Thumb of 2017-08-10/joannakat/5b86b2

AKA Joey.
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Photo Contest Winner: 2017
Aug 10, 2017 11:35 AM CST
Glad you took the wild aster plunge Joanna. As far as wilds in the garden go, the New England Aster has never been a problem for me. Here they usually start bloom in late August hitting their stride in September. Five foot tall is about usual. They've never failed not to attract a considerable host of pollinators (a feat the commercial aster varieties can't duplicate). All years see a multitude of different BFs, different bees, and moths.
I've had mine so long, I don't remember if they bloomed the first year though were I to hazard a guess, I'd say probably.
They will self seed around but are easy to pull out once recognized. Where mine grow I've put some steel posts and half inch rebar stakes deep into the ground and usually tie parachute cord a/o thin rope around them to keep them upright.
To sum up, I think they'll yet bloom for you. The blooms on mine literally cover them. This year, I await as well.
(word of caution - don't take up with the white heath aster as it is too aggressive and ends up attracting multitudes of fly pollinators, though flies can be fun to take pics of too).
Thumb of 2017-08-10/jmorth/11a111

Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Aug 10, 2017 12:08 PM CST
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply jmorth! I literally inspect my NEA daily looking for emerging buds. Maybe I'll find some in the coming weeks. Will update.

I will definitely heed your advice!

Thanks again. Thank You!
AKA Joey.

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