Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Today's Winning Combo - Aster & Pieris

It's prime time for Asters. They seem to come on a little earlier than the Chrysanthemums and in a slightly different color palate, generally magenta, pink and purple.
Asters are mound forming perennials with dark green foliage. Their heights can vary from 12" to 36". With some of the taller varieties, needing a bit of support when blooming.

With some of the taller varieties, I have resorted to snapping off new growths in early summer (June), to help keep them more compact.

Many of my Asters and Chrysanthemums look a lot like a peeled banana from the recent heavy rains. They haven't quite recovered from the beatings yet and are still a little floppy.

Aster novi-belgii 'Marie III' & Pieris japonica 'Variegata'
Asters are hardy and easy to grow. They enjoy full sun, fertile soil and summer water.  They can spread, but they are easy to pull out and share or compost.

Pieris japonica 'Variegata' (Lily of the Valley Shrub) has elegant, creamy-white-edged foliage and cascades of small white urn shaped flowers. Right now these are just the buds forming. The flowers will happen in later winter and have a menthol/medicinal fragrance. Pieris is a very easy to grow shrub for a dry, shade environment.


  1. pink it's almost neon. I find the pieris prettiest at that exact stage.

  2. Those lovely asters brighten my days this time of year. I almost always forget to trim them down, though, so they are awfully leggy. Oh well, maybe more suitable for a vase? Anyway, I like them better than the mums which seem to fall apart after rain. Fabulous color!