Attract Butterflies with Late Blooming Asters

Late-blooming asters will attract butterflies to your garden throughout the end of summer and into fall.

Grow Asters for Butterflies

The leaves may have started to change and the days are growing shorter. But in many areas, there are still butterflies around. Nectar flowers become a little harder for butterflies to find in the fall. Anyone who makes a special effort to attract butterflies in September and October is likely to be rewarded with plenty of fluttering visitors. Asters are an excellent late-blooming fall flowers, with a variety of species suited to any landscape.

Check out the top 10 fall perennials for your garden.

Fall Nectar PlantsCourtesy Charlene G.
Migrating monarchs enjoying New York Aster ‘Magic Purple’ in the fall.

Look for Native Asters

Many native asters are available, including New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii), New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), and Climbing Carolina aster (Ampelaster carolinianus). These can be great choices in gardens in their native ranges. They’re perfectly suited to the climate and growing conditions. The aster shown above is a cultivar of New York aster, known as ‘Magic Purple’, which grows up to five feet tall under the right conditions. It attracts late butterflies in droves. Growing asters is a great way to to support migrating monarchs along their journey.

Check out the top 10 easy-to-grow native plants.

Attract Butterflies with Aster Charlene GCharlene G.
This New York Aster is nearly hidden under a cloud of clouded sulphur butterflies

On a technical note, the New World asters, including our common native aster species, have been separated from their Old World cousins in recent years. That means their Latin genus names have changed from Aster to a variety of other genus names, including Symphyotrichum. However, their common names remain the same. They are often still referred to by their former aster species names as well. So don’t be surprised to see a variety of botanical names applied to these plants. When it comes to attracting butterflies, they continue to be the same excellent nectar plants they’ve always been!

Next, check out monarch butterfly flowers you should grow.

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Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find he reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.