New England Aster, Sensational Summer Through Fall


New England aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, is a perennial member of the Asteraceae family that includes chrysanthemums and daisies.

Excellent for attracting pollinators, we share our tips for growing New England asters in the garden:

Also known as Michaelmas daisy, this nectar-rich flower is native to the US, where it grows wild along roadways and in meadows. A close look at its vivid purple blossoms reveals yellow centers teeming with butterflies and bees, nature’s most beneficial pollinators.

A Transitional Treasure

Once planted, S. novae-angliae rewards with years of vigorous growth and exceptional color, making every summer to fall transition a feast for the eyes.

New England Aster |
New England aster (S. novae-angliae) and goldenrod (Solidago) provide rich color and valuable nectar in the transitional garden.

This striking flower plays well with goldenrod and Montauk daisies, both of which complement its sunny yellow centers.

Plant in average to moist, well-drained soil, in a location that gets sun. Give it room to roam, and it will increase in size each year, growing in bushy mounds laden with blossoms.

Attract Pollinators with New England Aster |

I leave mine to its own designs; however, it tends to get leggy. To achieve a more compact appearance, you may prune one-third off in early summer.

S. Novae-Angliae Plant Facts:

  • Average to moist, well-drained soil
  • Blooms August through October/first frost
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Height 2 1/2 to 7 feet
  • Native
  • Perennial
  • Prune as desired
  • Shades of purple
  • Zones 4 to 8

When the garden is transitioning from summer to fall, it's nice to have a pop of color to carry you through the seasons. New England aster is the answer! Read our growing tips now, or Pin It for later:

A perennial native flower is a great investment; it’s beautiful, comes up every year, and provides much-needed habitat for pollinators.

Where to Buy

Aster ‘Purple Dome’ is available from Nature Hills Nursery. Enjoy an abundance of bright purple, yellow-centered blossoms from late summer until frost.'Purple Dome' New England Aster |

‘Purple Dome’ New England Asters

One- to two-inch daisy-like flowers top two- to three-foot stems, in compact masses that are perfect for gardens or containers.

Turn Up the Color

There’s no easier way to energize a summer-to-fall perennial garden than with asters. You can even save the seeds to plant again next year.

And, if perennial isn’t your style, check out our article, Plant China Aster for Color in the Late Summer Garden, about a non-native annual variety with cultivars in a range of designer colors.

New England Asters for the Perennial Garden |

Autumn in my part of the Northeast is a spectacular event, especially with vivid splashes of purple flowers added to the scarlet, gold, and fiery orange foliage . As a matter of fact, it’s so pretty, I never mind ditching the indoor chores for an hour of leaf raking on a gloriously sunny day.

And, speaking of raking leaves, what could make the job easier than a top-quality rake? Get the scoop on the best tools for autumn in our article, “Make Raking Leaves a Breeze with the Right Tool: The Top 5 Leaf Rakes Reviewed.”

What vibrant colors will take your summer garden into fall this year? Tell us in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing various views of New England Aster flowers in bloom.

© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 9, 2017. Last updated: December 29, 2019 at 20:10 pm. Product photo via Nature Hills Nursery. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

About Nan Schiller

Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project!

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LuAnn D’Arco

Awesome Nancy!