There are many lovely flowering perennials in Florida. Native to Florida, Stokes’ aster (Stokesia laevis) is a low-maintenance, but visually appealing plant. This pretty perennial creates a beautiful border plant with elegant, daisy-like flowers that surround the colorful foliage during summer.
Stokes’ aster can add vibrant color to the landscape.
Stokes’ asters often have blue-lilac flowers, but some cultivars come in deep blue, purple, rosy pink, silvery-white, and even yellow. Starting in the spring, flowers begin to bloom intermittently and can eventually reach a width of 4 inches. Unlike other perennials, it stays green year-round in our area and adds interest. The plant is not only a lovely addition to the landscape but pollinators like butterflies and bees are drawn by its nectar. These perennial flowers work nicely as borders or planted in containers. They can also serve as a charming feature of a wildflower, butterfly, or cut flower garden. Deer can occasionally harm plants, but they are typically thought to be unappealing to them.
As soon as it is established, Stokes’ aster is simple to maintain. It can grow from 10 to 24 inches tall and thrives in settings with partial sunlight to full sun and acidic, well-drained soil. Although this plant takes very little maintenance, older clumps may need to be divided. To promote more blossoming, you can also deadhead (pinch off spent flowerheads). For appropriate development throughout the season, a general-purpose, slow-release fertilizer application in the spring should be adequate. Like other plants, it is advantageous to keep a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch to preserve soil moisture and lessen weed competition. Insect and disease issues are uncommon with Stokes’ aster.
Where to find it
Stokesia laevis remains one of Florida’s most popular perennials. There will be many Stokes’ aster plants with lavender flowers available at the UF/IFAS Extension Master Gardener Plant Sale. The plant sale will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 1. This gorgeous perennial with flowers will be a gem in your garden.
Contact The Wakulla County Master Gardeners at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at (850) 926-3931 if you have any questions concerning Stokes’ aster or the plant sale.
Khadejah Scott is the Extension Agent I for horticulture, agriculture and natural resources for UF/IFAS Extension Wakulla County.
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