Silky aster Description:
Symphyotrichum sericeum, commonly known as the silky aster, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to North America. It typically grows to a height of 1-2 feet and has a clumping habit.
The leaves of Symphyotrichum sericeum are narrow and lance-shaped, with a slightly fuzzy texture due to fine hairs. The flowers are daisy-like and arranged in loose clusters at the top of the stems. They bloom in late summer to early fall, typically in shades of blue, purple, or pink, with yellow centers.
Symphyotrichum sericeum prefers well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. It is an important plant for pollinators, attracting bees, butterflies, and other insects with its nectar-rich flowers. It is also used in ecological landscaping and as a native plant in gardens and naturalized areas.
This plant is easy to grow and can spread slowly by rhizomes, making it a good choice for borders, rock gardens, or naturalized areas. With its delicate blooms and important ecological role, Symphyotrichum sericeum is a popular choice for gardeners and nature enthusiasts alike.
Silky aster is found in the central United States. In Minnesota, Silky aster is mostly found in the central and Southern regions of the state, however, it is also found in the Northwestern portions as well.
Standard Plant Information:
Plant Height: 1' - 2'
Bloom Time: August - October
Preferred Habitat: Does well in part shade to full sun in dry sandy or rocky soil. Often found in prairies, outcrops, open woods, dunes, and barrens.
For most homeowners, the best option is to scatter seed on the ground by hand broadcasting at a minimum of 16-64 pls ounces per acre. For even coverage, we recommend that you broadcast seed in perpendicular rows across the site to ensure even coverage.
You’ll want to broadcast any grass seed first, which will get raked into the soil lightly. Next, it is ideal to mulch the area lightly with either a clean (no seed) straw or preferably with our native Little Bluestem straw, sold at our retail garden centers. After a light mulching is complete, now it’s time to broadcast your native wildflower seeds, which should not be raked into the soil. A good rain or watering is sufficient to cover the seed.
Simply dig a hole in the soil slightly larger than the plant’s roots. Ensure that the soil line of the plant is maintained during the transfer (i.e. the plant should be at the same level with the ground as it was in the pot). Pack any loose dirt back around the plant and make sure you water it well the same day to ensure it has the best chance of survival.
maps used with permission from MN Wildflowers