Aster 'Celeste'
Common Name: michaelmas daisy
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Violet-blue rays and yellow center disks
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers organically rich soils. Good air circulation and consistent moist soils with good drainage helps reduce incidence of foliar diseases. Pinching back stems several times before mid-July will help control plant height, promote bushiness and obviate any need for staking. Pinching is probably less important for this compact cultivar than for taller asters. Thinning stems in summer promotes better air circulation. Plants may be cut to the ground after flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Asters are the mainstay of many fall gardens producing daisy-like flowers.

Genus name comes from the Latin word aster meaning star for the shape of the flowers.

‘Celeste’ is a hybrid perennial aster with daisy capitulum form that resulted from an open breeding program by Yoder involving A. novae-belgii and A. pilosus var. pringlei. This is a compact, clump-forming aster that typically forms a rounded foliage mound to 24-30” tall and as wide. Features a profuse bloom of daisy-like asters (to 1” diameter) with violet-blue rays and yellow center disks from late summer to early fall. Narrow, oblanceolate to linear medium green leaves (to 4” long). Flowers are attractive to butterflies. U.S. Plant Patent #10,051 issued October 7, 1997.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptibile to powdery mildew. Aster wilt can also be an occasional problem, particularly if plants are grown in poorly-drained clay soils. Taller cultivars may require staking or other support.

Garden Uses

Borders, cottage gardens, butterfly gardens. Also may be used as a perennial edging plant along walkways or paths. Also may be grown in containers in sunny locations.