Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Good drought tolerance. Staking is usually not required, so pinching back the stems to control plant height is not necessary.
Symphyotrichum laeve, commonly called smooth aster, is a Missouri native that typically occurs in prairies, rocky glades, dry open woods, roadside banks and thickets. Stems are usually unbranched with variable, mostly toothed, smooth, bluish green foliage. Small flowers (.75 to 1.25" across) with violet blue to purple (sometimes white) rays and yellow centre disks appear in open, loose, panicle-like clusters in autumn. Attractive to butterflies.
'Bluebird' is a robust, upright plant with arching stems. Typically grows to 3' tall. Loose panicle-like clusters of 1" diameter asters with violet blue rays and yellow centres cover the upper parts of this plant in a profuse September-October bloom. Smooth, mostly toothless, blue-green foliage (to 4" long). Attractive to butterflies. Species is a Missouri native.
No serious insect or disease problems. Excellent mildew resistance. Rarely needs staking.