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There's nothing like a climbing aster and what it brings to the garden, being one of the treasured late-summer to early fall bloomers that are such a relief at the end of a hot summer. It's like the garden gets a second wind when this and Helianthus Table Mountain start to flower.
Aster carolinianus is a vine-like perennial that will ramble over structures, but left to its own self-care will wander around on the ground quite a distance. We recommend a structure so you can see more of the flower display in late summer to early autumn. It's not technically a vine because it's not self-climbing, so botanists classify it as "scandent," though if there's something for it to climb on, 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.
climbing aster fills a flowering gap: it flowers in late summer to early fall in a different time of year than most plants
it's the only aster that's a vine, so you can incorporate aster-shaped flowers on an arbor or other structural support into your design
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.
Woah, I'm in zone 8 and this thing grew 20'. How do I tame it? When it's dormant, but just as new growth begins, cut it back to within 6" of the ground and it will resprout. Do this every year if you want to keep it smaller.
When do I prune it in general? Wait until early spring, just as new growth begins, so you can clearly see the dead wood to prune out.