Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 53: climbing aster

Our local demonstration pollinator garden has a superb example of this climbing aster, and it’s what clued me in to planting it in the potager. It tends to bloom many months of the year here in central NC, so it will be wonderful to have for our bees.

Of course it’s a native to NC and given the success of the non-climbing asters I’ve planted in the past two years, I’m looking forward to seeing this one mature. 

We built this trellis using two posts we had on hand and a “hog panel” from our feed store that they cut in half for us. They come in 16-foot lengths, and we didn’t need anything quite that tall. But I have the other half in the barn so I can use it for something else when the time comes.

I’ve planted three climbing aster plants along the base of the trellis. Two have had their leaves chewed off by something - rabbit? Squirrel? Raccoon? I’m not sure. If this continues to be a problem I’ll use some chicken wire to allow these young plants to get a safe start.

More info:

Ampelaster carolinianus 

Common Name(s):


Previously known as:

  • Symphyotrichum carolinianum
Phonetic Spelling
am-pel-ASS-ter kay-ro-lin-ee-AY-nus

Climbing Aster is a sprawling herbaceous perennial that produces long stems and can climb to heights greater than 10 feet. It prefers to sprawl over the top of fence posts or other plants or can be located and allowed to use a trellis for its support. The side branches grow horizontally, allowing them to use adjoining plants for support of the plant structure.

It can be found growing in marshy shores, stream banks, edges of swamps, moist thickets or wet woodlands. Standing water may affect the plant's health, so a location where good drainage can be accomplished is desirable. It will tolerate seasonal flooding.

Deadhead this plant in the fall, but refrain from any additional trimming at that time. Delaying until spring when the plant is showing signs of awakening is a better alternative.  

In the late summer and fall, it produces pink to purple blooms with yellow centers.

The rapid growing-spreading habit may require frequent division.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Common diseases of the climbing aster include wilt disease, powdery mildew, and botrytis.

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