Asters are low-maintenance perennials that feature lovely thin petaled flowers, creating a frilly-looking bloom. The flowers bloom from late summer into fall, providing one last burst of color to wrap up the growing season. The narrow, lance-shaped foliage is a medium green color and makes a good filler in the garden bed during the spring and summer. As the summer draws to a close, the aster will take center stage with its cheerful blooms. Feature asters alongside spring and early summer bloomers, ensuring plenty of color and texture throughout the entire growing season.
Asters grow best in full sun but are adaptable and can live in partial shade. These plants are herbaceous perennials and can reach several feet tall. Grow asters in zones 3 through 8.
Shrubs To Plant With Aster
The formal-looking aster pairs well with hydrangeas. Plant a row of hydrangeas near the back of a bed and a row of asters in front for an elegant hedge-like appearance. The evergreen boxwood is another shrub that fairs well in full sun or partial shade, making it an excellent option to plant with aster. Plant the boxwood in rows or alternate it with the perennial for a manicured look.
Pines are another evergreen choice that provides year-round color but doesn’t distract from the foliage and flowers of the aster. Plant several asters around an ornamental dwarf pine to create a dense planting.
Perennials To Plant With Aster
Lupines are showy, long-blooming perennials. Mature lupines can be about the same height or possibly shorter than asters, so plant them in front or even in between asters. These plants work well together because they don’t compete for attention. Lupines bloom during the spring and summer, and the flowers fade around mid-summer when asters start to bloom.
An easy way to design a bed or border is to choose plants that are part of the same family because they often have identical or very similar care needs, and the resemblance will lend a curated look. Fleabane, which is part of the aster family, craves full sun but can live in partial shade and has daisy-like flowers that bloom from spring through fall.
Ornamental grass is a great option to add texture and movement to a space. Plant a short aster cultivar in front of an ornamental grass like feather reed grass for a tiered appearance, or mix things up by displaying a large aster behind a short ornamental grass like tufted hair grass.
Annuals To Plant With Aster
Mix annuals, like sunflowers and geraniums, with asters to create a one-of-a-kind space. Geraniums start to bloom in the spring, and the flowers last until fall, so you can enjoy a long-blooming season that culminates with aster flowers. Annual sunflowers can be tall and add height to a garden bed or have a bushy form. Both varieties introduce bold colors, and the thin-petaled flowers look similar to the aster blooms, creating consistency.
Best Companion Plants For Aster in Containers
Use aster as a filler in a container. The mounded growth habit will quickly fill the space, and once the aster blooms, it will take on the role of thriller. Pair the aster with a vining plant, like clematis, to draw the eye up, creating a complete and coordinated container planting.
Plants Not To Grow With Aster
Aster works well with many plants and spaces, making an area feel full and vibrant. The only reason not to pair specific plants with asters is due to varying care requirements. Asters are adaptable but cannot live in low light, making them a bad match for hostas, ferns, lungwort, and any other plant that needs limited light. They also require well-drained soil and cannot live with bog plants like rush and gunnera.
Best Plants To Grow With Aster
While asters are flexible, full sun allows these plants to thrive and prolifically bloom, so the best companion plants will also enjoy full sun. Fleabane, lupine, geraniums, and ornamental grass are good companions for asters because they have similar care needs and complement the aster's stately greenery and late-season flowers.