How to Grow Stokesia Plants

Guide to Growing Stokes' Aster

Stokesia is commonly known by name Stokes Aster.

It is an hardy perennial that reaches from 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 feet) in height.

Varieties of Stokesia may have fringed blue, purple, white, or pink flowers. These come into bloom in the summer.

Stokesia laevis
Stokesia laevis - Stokes' aster by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋).

Stokesia Plant Species

The Stokesia genus consists of just one species: Stokesia laevis.

Stokesia laevis

Stokesia laevis
Stokesia laevis (Stokesia), photograph by Syrio; CC 4.

Commonly Grown Stokesia / Stoke's Aster Cultivars

Stokesia 'Peachie's pick'

stokesia Peachies pick
Stokesia 'Peachie's pick' Cultivar photograph by cultivar413; CC.

Stokesia Blue Danube'

stokesia blue danube
Stokesia 'Blue Danube' Cultivar photograph by Jean; CC.

Stokesia 'Mary Gregory'

Stokesia mary gregory
Stokesia 'Mary Gregory' Cultivar photograph by Plantlady; CC 3.0.

Stokesia Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Stokes' aster.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
  • Height: 12 to 24 inches (30—60 cm).
  • Native: North America.
  • Growing Region: US Zones 6 to 10.
  • Flowers: Early to mid-summer.
  • Flower Details: Purple, white, blue, pink, yellow. Fringed. cornflower-like. Notched rays. Pincushion center.
  • Foliage: Evergreen. Medium green Rosettes are lanceolate to elliptic. Leafy stems.

  • Sow Outside: Cover seed. Start of spring or the beginning of autumn.
  • Sow Inside: Germination time: 3 to 4 weeks. Temperature: 70°F (21°C). Two months in advance. Transplant outdoors before the last light frost or at the start of autumn. Space at 12 to 18 inches (30—45 cm).
  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight (for best results) or partial shade. Wet soils kill off plants in the winter. Good drainage. Medium or rich soil. Cut back to the ground in autumn. Propagate: by dividing at the start of spring.
  • Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
  • Closely Related Species: Achillea, Aster, Callistephus, Cosmea, Helianthus, Leontopodium, Liatris, Sanvitalia, Townsendia, and Zinnia.
  • Miscellaneous: Named after the English botanist and physician Jonathan Stokes, famous for his work on treating heart failure using the Foxglove (Digitalis). The genus contains just one species: Stokesia laevis. Tolerant of drought and rabbits.
  • How to Grow Stokes Aster / Stokesia

    The seeds of Stokes Aster (Stokesia plants) can be sown outdoors in either early spring or early autumn.

    Seeds should be sown in either a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden and then lightly covered.

    Stokesia likes to grow in a rich soil and it is very important that the ground that the plant grows in has very good drainage.

    If starting off indoors then start about 10 weeks in advance. Seeds should take about 3 to 4 weeks to germinate at 20 to 22 degrees Celsius (68 to 72°F).

    The young Stokesia plants can be put outside either early in autumn or just before the last frost of spring.

    Small species of Stokesia should be planted at about 25 cm ( 10 inches) apart, whilst larger varieties should be planted about 45 cm (18 inches) apart.

    Caring for Stokesia (Stokes' Aster)

    It is easy to look after the Stokesia plants. Do not let soil become drenched as they do not like wet soil; cut back to ground level at the end of the season in autumn.

    If you require more plants then propagate by division in the early months of spring.

    I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Stokesia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Venidium, Camassia and Felicia plants.