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Plant of the month: Aster Frikartii Monch

Updated: Aug 28

While the days get darker and cooler, and the parks are blazing with red and yellow leaves, your garden could still showcase a colourful palette that ranges from white to violet with this plant from the daisy’s family. In fact, one its more common names, Michaelmas Daisy, comes from its usual blooming period towards the end of September.

This award-winning perennial is renowned for its vigorous growth and resistance to disease, making it an easy-to-care addition to your garden. Asters love full sun and a well-drained soil so it can be easily added to a mixed or herbaceous border. Not only, but being drought tolerant and tough makes it ideal for our hot and dry summers here in Cambridge.

Its large sprays of slender daisy-like flowers, which can bloom from mid-summer to mid-autumn, will attract bees and butterflies for nectar but it will also provide seeds for linnets and finches. Therefore, for a full blast of colour and wildlife in your design, it can be planted together with other nectar and seed rich plants such as Verbena, Sunflowers, Solidago, Rudbeckia and Echinacea.

After flowering, when it will die back below ground, it can benefit from some mulching during winter but the plant can actually withstand several frosty days. The plant will spread in large sprays about 50 to 100 cm tall; so in spring its sturdy stems can be staked with bamboo or brushwood.

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