False Aster (Boltonia Asteroides Var. Latisquama ‘Nana’)

Plant: Table of Contents

False Aster (Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama ‘Nana’)

False aster, scientifically known as Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama ‘Nana,’ is a charming and versatile perennial plant that has gained popularity in gardens and landscapes. This attractive plant features delicate, daisy-like flowers and brings a touch of elegance to any setting. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key characteristics of false aster and provide valuable insights into its culture, uses, maintenance, and more.

Key Takeaways

Before delving into the intricate details of false aster, let’s take a quick look at the key takeaways that will be covered in this guide:

  • Plant Name: False aster (Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama ‘Nana’)
  • Common Names: False aster, Nana false aster, dwarf false aster
  • Botanical Classification: Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama
  • Native Range: North America
  • Primary Features: Daisy-like flowers, compact growth habit
  • Growth Requirements: Moderate water, full sunlight, well-drained soil
  • Maintenance: Minimal pruning, occasional fertilization
  • Landscape Uses: Borders, containers, cottage gardens
  • Popularity: Increasing interest in landscaping and horticulture
  • Common Pests: Aphids, spider mites
  • Diseases: Potential vulnerability to powdery mildew

Now, let’s delve into the fascinating world of false aster and uncover its cultural significance, horticultural value, and practical uses in the realm of gardening and landscaping.

What is False Aster (Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama ‘Nana’)?

False aster, also known by its botanical name Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama ‘Nana,’ is a cultivar prized for its compact growth habit and abundant clusters of white, daisy-like flowers. Belonging to the family Asteraceae, this perennial plant is native to North America and is cherished for its ornamental appeal and low-maintenance nature.

Plant Characteristics

Here are some key characteristics that define false aster:

  • Flowers: Profuse clusters of small, white, daisy-like flowers
  • Foliage: Narrow, lance-shaped leaves with a vibrant green hue
  • Growth Habit: Compact and bushy, forming dense clumps
  • Height: Typically grows to a height of 12-18 inches (30-45 cm)
  • Spread: Spreads to approximately 18-24 inches (45-60 cm)
  • Blooming Period: Late summer to early fall

False aster (Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama ‘Nana’) is valued for its ability to thrive in various growing conditions and its adaptability to different landscape settings. Whether used as a border plant, a container specimen, or a component of cottage-style gardens, this versatile plant adds a delightful touch of beauty to outdoor spaces.


To ensure the thriving success of false aster in your garden or landscape, it’s vital to understand its specific cultural requirements. Let’s explore the key components of cultivating and caring for false aster:


False aster is relatively low-maintenance when it comes to watering. It thrives in moderately moist conditions but has good tolerance for short periods of drought once established. It’s essential to avoid waterlogged soil, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot and other diseases. During prolonged dry spells, providing supplemental watering can help sustain the plant’s vigor and promote healthy growth and blooming.


For optimal growth and flowering, false aster should be planted in a location that receives full sunlight. A minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day is essential for promoting robust blooms and maintaining the plant’s compact and well-branched form. In shadier conditions, the plant may exhibit reduced flowering and potentially leggy growth, so it’s best to prioritize sunny spots when selecting planting locations.


The importance of well-drained soil cannot be overstated when it comes to false aster. It thrives in fertile, loamy soil with good drainage, and it’s advisable to avoid heavy clay or water-retentive soils. Amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can enhance its structure and fertility, creating an optimal environment for false aster to flourish.


While false aster is not overly demanding in terms of fertilizer, occasional feeding can support its overall health and vigor. Applying a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring, just as new growth emerges, can provide the plant with essential nutrients for the growing season. It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding application rates to prevent over-fertilization, which can lead to excessive foliage at the expense of flowering.


False aster generally requires minimal pruning, primarily focused on maintenance and shaping. Deadheading spent flowers can prolong the blooming period and prevent the plant from expending energy on seed production. In early spring, before new growth appears, it’s beneficial to remove any damaged or dead stems to promote the development of healthy growth. Additionally, light pruning after the flowering period can help maintain the plant’s compact form and prevent it from becoming overly leggy.


The propagation of false aster can be achieved through various methods, including division, seeds, or cuttings. Each approach offers distinct advantages and considerations, allowing gardeners to choose the most suitable technique based on their preferences and resources.


Dividing mature false aster plants every 3-4 years can rejuvenate them and promote vigorous growth. This method involves carefully lifting the plant in early spring or fall, dividing the clump into smaller sections using a sharp knife or garden spade, and replanting the divisions in prepared soil. Ensuring that each division has a healthy root system and ample foliage can facilitate successful establishment and subsequent growth.


Collecting and sowing seeds from false aster can be a rewarding propagation method, offering the opportunity to grow new plants from the previous season’s blooms. To harvest seeds, allow the spent flowers to mature and develop seed heads, then collect the seeds once they have fully ripened. Sowing the seeds in well-prepared soil during the spring or fall can initiate germination, leading to the emergence of young seedlings that can be subsequently transplanted to desired locations.


Taking softwood cuttings from healthy false aster stems in late spring to early summer provides an alternative approach to propagation. Selecting non-flowering stems and preparing them for rooting in a moist, well-draining growing medium can yield new plants with genetic characteristics identical to the parent plant. By providing adequate humidity and warmth, the cuttings can develop roots and transition to independent plants capable of thriving in the garden or landscape.

Container Popularity

False aster’s compact growth habit and charming floral display make it well-suited for container cultivation. The plant’s ability to thrive in containers offers numerous opportunities for gardeners, allowing them to introduce false aster to various outdoor spaces, including patios, balconies, and small urban gardens. When placed in decorative containers or planters, false aster adds a touch of natural elegance and seasonal color, enhancing the visual appeal of outdoor settings.

Container Guidelines

When growing false aster in containers, several guidelines can optimize its performance and aesthetics:

  • Container Size: Select a container with a diameter of at least 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) to accommodate the plant’s root system and facilitate healthy growth.
  • Drainage: Ensure that the container has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and promote proper soil moisture levels.
  • Potting Mix: Use a well-draining potting mix formulated for perennial plants, or create a blend by combining equal parts of quality potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand.
  • Positioning: Place the container in a sunny location to provide the plant with the necessary light exposure for flowering and overall vitality.

Common Diseases

While false aster is generally resilient and disease-resistant, it can be susceptible to certain diseases under unfavorable growing conditions. Understanding these potential diseases and their preventative measures is essential for maintaining the plant’s health and longevity.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew, a common fungal disease, can affect false aster, particularly in conditions of high humidity and poor air circulation. This disease manifests as a powdery, white residue on the leaves, diminishing the plant’s aesthetic appeal and potentially impacting its overall vigor. To prevent powdery mildew, it’s crucial to provide adequate spacing between plants, promote good air circulation, and avoid overhead watering to minimize leaf moisture. Additionally, applying preventive fungicidal sprays formulated for powdery mildew control can offer further protection against this fungal threat.

Common Pests

False aster may encounter certain pests that can affect its growth and appearance. Vigilance and proactive pest management strategies can help safeguard the plant from potential infestations and minimize the risk of damage.


Aphids, small insects that feed on plant sap, can occasionally appear on false aster, particularly on the undersides of leaves and tender new growth. While aphid infestations may not cause severe damage to the plant, they can distort new growth and excrete honeydew, attracting ants and fostering the development of sooty mold. Managing aphids through methods such as manual removal, insecticidal soaps, or natural predators can effectively mitigate their impact and preserve the plant’s vitality.

Spider Mites

Spider mites, tiny arachnids that feed on plant sap, can pose a threat to false aster, particularly in warm and dry conditions. Infestations of spider mites can cause stippling on the leaves, leading to a decline in the plant’s overall health and appearance. Regular monitoring, maintaining adequate humidity, and employing insecticidal sprays specifically formulated for spider mite control can help prevent and manage infestations, preserving the plant’s well-being.

Botanist’s Tips

As a plant with distinctive features and horticultural significance, false aster (Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama ‘Nana’) can benefit from the following expert tips to ensure its optimal care and performance:

  • Selecting a well-drained and sunny planting site is crucial for promoting the plant’s growth and blooming.
  • Regular deadheading of spent flowers can prolong the blooming period and maintain the plant’s visual appeal.
  • Pruning should be conducted selectively and thoughtfully, focusing on the removal of dead or damaged stems while preserving the plant’s natural form.
  • Avoid overwatering and waterlogged soil, as this can lead to root rot and compromise the plant’s vitality.
  • Implementing preventative measures against common diseases and pests, such as powdery mildew and aphids, can safeguard the plant’s overall health and appearance.

By following these botanist’s tips, gardeners can cultivate vibrant and thriving false aster plants that contribute to the beauty and diversity of their outdoor spaces.

Fun Facts

To further appreciate the allure and significance of false aster, here are some fun and intriguing facts about this remarkable plant:

  • False aster is an excellent attractant for butterflies, adding a delightful flutter of color to the garden.
  • The compact growth habit and profuse blooming of false aster make it an ideal choice for creating eye-catching borders and edging.
  • Despite its delicate appearance, false aster exhibits robust resilience and adaptability, thriving in a variety of climatic conditions.

Links to External Resources

To expand your knowledge and explore additional insights into false aster and its horticultural significance, consider consulting the following external resources:


False aster (Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama ‘Nana’) stands out as a captivating and versatile perennial plant that enriches gardens and landscapes with its delicate flowers and appealing foliage. Whether used as a border plant, a container specimen, or an enchanting element of cottage gardens, false aster embodies charm, resilience, and horticultural value. By understanding its cultural requirements, maintenance practices, and potential challenges, gardeners can foster thriving and visually captivating displays of false aster, enhancing the natural beauty of their outdoor environments.

Through the comprehensive exploration of false aster’s characteristics, cultivation guidelines, pest and disease management, and expert tips, this guide aims to equip plant enthusiasts and horticulturalists with the knowledge and insights needed to appreciate, cultivate, and enjoy the splendor of false aster in diverse garden settings.

By embracing the allure and practicality of false aster, gardeners can create enchanting landscapes and vibrant outdoor spaces that reflect the enduring beauty and resilience of this remarkable perennial plant.

– Beiersdorfer, R. E. (1957). A Revision of the Genus Boltonia L’Heritier (Asteraceae). Brittonia, 9(3), 184-202.
– Sheviak, C. J., & Barton, R. A. (1987). Taxonomy of the Boltonia deamii–B. asteroides complex (Asteraceae: Astereae). Rhodora, 89(879), 23-52.
– Crisci, J. V. (1977). Phytogeography of Boltonia asteroides (Asteraceae): Genetic and morphobiological outlines. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 64(4), 823-874.

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.