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Stokesia laevis - Growing Guide

Growing Stokesia 'Blue Star'

Stoke’s aster

Stokesia are one of the most reliable and productive evergreen perennial plants in a traditional English cottage herbaceous border. This is another herbaceous plant introduced to the UK from SE America and one which has naturalised into so many gardens.

It is a rosette forming plant with elliptic or lance shaped leaves of up to 8in in length with a pale whitish midrib. These plants flower from July on through to September on upright stems with smaller stalkless leaves to produce single terminal cornflower-like flower heads. The flowers are 4in across with light blue-white centres and whitish-blue disc florets. Not all the flower heads come out at once and, best practice, is to remove the dead flower heads to encourage more later flowers.

The flowers are excellent for cutting for summer flower arrangements and this plant grows best in a warm sunny position. It is a plant which will rot off in waterlogged conditions and a good annual autumn mulch will protect the roots in a severe winter.

Root cuttings in late autumn can be overwintered in the greenhouse or the clumps can be divided in the spring to produce more new plants.

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