How to Grow and Care for Stokes’ Asters

  • jack Officer
  • May 31, 2023

Stokesia laevis

Stokes’ asters, Stokesia laevis syn. Carthamus laevis, are perennials within the Asteraceae or daisy household.

They’re native to the southeastern United States and develop effectively in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.

A close up vertical image of light blue Stokes' aster (Stokesia laevis) flowers pictured on a soft focus background. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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Botanical species and cultivated varieties can be found in shades of blue, pink, purple, white, and yellow. The scale and composition of the flower heads make them among the showiest asters.

Our information to rising asters talk about cultivation, upkeep, troubleshooting for species and cultivated varieties.

This text zeroes in on rising and caring for Stokes’ asters.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

Let’s start!

What Are Stokes’ Asters?

In contrast to many native asters with blossoms measuring an inch or much less throughout, Stokes’ supply beneficiant two- to four-inch flowers with deeply divided rays with a shredded tissue paper, fringe-and-frills high quality.

A close up horizontal image of a single light blue Stokes' aster (Stokesia laevis) flower pictured on a soft focus background.

They typically start blooming in mid to late summer time and proceed into the autumn, however generally they delight with a couple of spring blossoms, a tantalizing promise of extra to come back.

Crops have an upright, clumping development behavior. There’s a basal mound of foliage.

The leaves are slender, lance-like, and semi-evergreen, remaining inexperienced within the warmest areas and bronzing towards season’s finish in cooler climes.

Mature dimensions are 12 to 24 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches vast.

Cultivation and Historical past

In nature, S. laevis usually grows in stream beds with sandy, well-draining soil. The blossoms resemble wild cornflowers, Centaurea cyanus, with related finely reduce rays.

Cultivated vegetation carry out effectively with full solar and like constant moisture. Within the warmest zones, rising in filtered daylight helps to foster a moist atmosphere.

As soon as mature, vegetation exhibit above-average drought and warmth tolerance.

Stokes’ asters had been named to honor famend British doctor and botanist John Stokes, who studied the medicinal properties of foxglove, Digitalis, and was a member of the Linnean Society of London.


To begin vegetation of your personal, you’ll want seeds, nursery vegetation, tender stem cuttings, or divisions of present vegetation. Discover directions for every methodology in our aster propagation information.

To direct-sow seeds, moisten the soil.

Scatter a couple of seeds on the floor each 18 to 24 inches.

Hold the soil moist, however not oversaturated.

When the seedlings have two units of true leaves, skinny them to 1 per interval.

To transplant seedlings began indoors, nursery vegetation, tender stem cuttings, or divisions, be aware of their depth within the authentic setting and replicate it while you place them within the backyard soil.

Tamp the soil firmly across the stems, water, and tamp once more.

Find out how to Develop

After the hazard of frost has handed within the spring, select a location with full solar or filtered solar/half shade within the warmest areas.

The soil must be free, sandy, and well-draining, with a pH of 5.2 to six.7. Poorly draining soil might end in root rot, particularly in the course of the winter.

A close up horizontal image of purple Stokes' asters (Stokesia laevis) growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

Work the soil to a depth of eight to 10 inches till it’s crumbly. Take away rocks and particles.

Apply a well-balanced, slow-release, granular fertilizer to vegetation ranging in dimension from seedlings to nursery specimens.

Sprinkle the granules on the moist soil round, however not touching, the stems.

Preserve an inch of water per week, rain included.

Rising Suggestions

It’s straightforward to develop S. laevis while you bear in mind the next:

  • A sunny location is greatest besides within the warmest zones, the place filtered daylight helps to retain soil moisture.
  • Moist soil is crucial, nevertheless it should be free and well-draining to keep away from rotting.
  • Sow seeds on the soil floor and transplants on the similar depth as of their authentic settings.
  • Fertilize vegetation with a well-balanced granular product.
  • Preserve even moisture, an inch per week.

With planting finished, it’s time to debate ongoing care.

Pruning and Upkeep

You’ll discover S. laevis is likely one of the decrease upkeep backyard flowers. Nevertheless, there are a couple of chores that help their greatest efficiency.

A close up horizontal image of pink Stokes' asters (Stokesia laevis) growing in the garden pictured on a green soft focus background.

Deadhead spent flowers to delay blooming. Take away total stems at their factors of origin to encourage new development.

Divide massive clumps each two to a few years in early spring or early fall to forestall overcrowding, stimulate new root formation, and promote optimum blooming.

Fertilize every spring with a well-balanced, slow-release, granular product.

Lower the stems right down to the basal mound of foliage at season’s finish and discard the stays to inhibit wintering over pests and ailments.

In cooler climes, a three-inch layer of mulch helps to insulate and facilitate drainage in the course of the winter.

Cultivars to Choose

When buying, you could discover botanical species S. laevis and cultivated varieties.

Listed below are some cultivars to whet your urge for food:


S. laevis ‘Honeysong’ boasts four-inch pinkish-purple blossoms with white, frilly eyes and fringed rays.

A close up square image of a purple Stokesia laevis 'Honeysong' flower with foliage in soft focus in the background.


Get pleasure from flowers from late summer time to fall. Crops mature to a top and width of 12 to fifteen inches.

‘Honeysong’ is out there from Nature Hills Nursery.

Peachie’s Choose

S. laevis ‘Peachie’s Choose’ presents lavender-blue blossoms as much as three inches throughout with white eyes and all of the frills and fringe one would anticipate from a top-performing Stokes’ cultivar.

A close up square image of Stokesia laevis 'Peachie's Pick' flowers growing in the garden.

‘Peachie’s Choose’

Bloom time is from midsummer to fall. Mature dimensions are 12 to 18 inches tall and 15 to 18 inches vast.

‘Peachie’s Choose’ is out there from Nature Hills Nursery.

White Star

S. laevis ‘White Star’ shows vibrant white, generously proportioned three- to four-inch frilly, fringed blossoms with a touch of pink on the middle.

‘White Star’

Flowers bloom from late summer time to early fall. General dimensions are 12 to 16 inches in top and unfold.

‘White Star’ is out there from Outsidepride through Amazon.

You’ll discover a different coloration palette awaits while you store.

Managing Pests and Illness

S. laevis and its cultivars will not be usually susceptible to pests or illness.

A horizontal image of yellow Stokes' aster flowers growing in the garden with foliage in soft focus in the background.

Nevertheless, when circumstances are too moist, they might be extra susceptible to slugs and snails, in addition to fungal circumstances like Fusarium wilt and powdery mildew.

To keep away from pests and illness, buy high-quality vegetation or seeds, house generously for ample air circulation, develop in well-draining soil with full to filtered solar, and preserve even moisture with out oversaturation.

Finest Makes use of

A showy native flower like Stokes’ aster is a superb alternative for mass-planting in butterfly, cottage, and slicing gardens, the place it will probably unfold and entice bees and butterflies.

A horizontal image of a swallowtail butterfly feeding from lilac Stokes' aster flowers, pictured on a soft focus background.

It additionally performs effectively en masse in moist areas like stream banks.

Whilst you might learn that vegetation are deer and rabbit resistant, I’ve seen the harm to substantiate the opposite relating to deer, so take this info with a grain of salt.

Fast Reference Rising Information

Plant Kind: Herbaceous flowering perennial Flower / Foliage Shade: Blue, pink, purple, white, yellow/inexperienced
Native to: Southeastern United States Tolerance: Drought, warmth, gentle shade
Hardiness (USDA Zone): 5-9 Upkeep: Low
Bloom Time/Season: Late spring-summer Soil Kind: Sandy, free
Publicity: Full solar Soil pH: 5.2-6.7
Spacing: 18-24 inches Soil Drainage: Nicely-draining
Planting Depth: Floor sow (seeds); similar depth as initially planted (transplants) Attracts: Bees, butterflies
Peak: 12-24 inches Makes use of: Beds, borders, butterfly gardens, cottage gardens, slicing gardens, mass plantings, pond banks
Unfold: 12-18 inches Household: Asteraceae
Water Wants: Average Genus: Stokesia
Widespread Pests and Ailments: Slugs, snails; fusarium wilt, powdery mildew Species: Laevis

Transition with Showy Stokes’

Stokes’ asters are showier than lots of their native perennial cousins, with their two- to four-inch flowers in shades of blue, pink, purple, white, and yellow.

A close up horizontal image of Stokes' aster flowers (Stokesia laevis) growing in the garden pictured in bright sunshine.

And in contrast to their shade-loving relations, Stokes’ develop in full solar however admire just a little shade within the warmest zones.

Additionally distinctive are their preferences for sandy soil that drains effectively, and a perpetual want for moisture, particularly when rising in full solar.

And eventually, sporadic spring blooms might precede the summer-to-fall flowering they’ve in frequent with their late-season counterparts.

For a showy flower that instructions consideration and attracts useful pollinators, add the Stokes’ species, S. laevis, to your backyard planner and have it in your newest backyard design.

Are you rising these flowers? Tell us within the feedback part beneath.

For those who loved studying about Stokes’ asters and wish to find out about extra daring and vibrant perennial aster species, we advocate the next guides subsequent:

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