There's nothing like climbing aster and what it brings to the garden, being one of the treasured fall bloomers that are such a refreshing joy during the transition from sweltering summer to bleak brown winter.
The garden gets a second wind when this and other autumn flowering plants, like Helianthus salicifolius Table Mountain, start to flower. As I'm writing this on November 30, 2018 there are still significant flowers on our plants - even after several frosty nights in the high twenties.
Climbing aster has a lengthy flowering season, producing continuous flowers from early October to through late November in our climate (zone 8a).
Aster carolinianus is a vine-like perennial that will ramble over stuff, but left to its own self-care will wander around on the ground quite a distance. We recommend a structure (fence) so you can see more of the flower display in autumn.
It's not technically a vine because it's not self-climbing (no tendrils), so botanists classify it as a "scandent subshrub". Though if there's something for it to climb on it will pile itself up and onto it, so you would not be crazy to call it a vine. We do.
Also, we see lavender as the flower color, but others call them pink! It might be one of those colors that people argue over and maybe we're all right.
Definitely a pollinator plant - it provides late season food for a variety of insects.
Ampelaster carolinianus, Symphyotricum carolinianum
USDA Hardiness Zones
- Spring: green
- Summer: dark green
- Fall: dark plum
Fall Leaf Color Quality
Soil Moisture Requirements
moist, average garden, well-drained (no standing water)
Soil pH Requirements
full sun, part shade
To Make It Thrive
Give it something to ramble and climb on: arbor, fence, trellis, rock wall, mailbox, any structure. Some structures it will ramble over by itself, on others you may need to guide it and give it some help to make it climb.