Gardeners who love perennial daisies but want to try something different will be pleased to discover how many similarly beautiful perennials exist in the aster family, to which the daisy belongs. There are a number of daisy-like flowers that go beyond the classic yellow and white daisy so commonly found on lawns and in gardens.
A native of Asia, tartarian aster (Aster tataricus) is a flowering perennial that can grow to be between six to eight feet tall. The plant boasts long, mid green leaves accented by lavender or light blue daisy like flowers, which appear throughout the fall. Though tartarian aster is somewhat coarse in appearance, the plant works well as a late blooming border or as a natural addition to a butterfly garden. The plant does best in full sunlight or partial shade in USDA zones 3 to 10, in most soil types so long as they are watered frequently. Areas with high rainfall may promote aggressive growth in the plant, so keep an eye on it lest it take over a large section of the garden.
East Indies Aster
East Indies aster (Aster tongolensis) is a perennial flower that reaches an average height of between a foot and a half and two feet tall. The plant produces bushy green foliage which comes alive in mid to late summer with pale lavender daisy like blooms. East Indies does well in an outdoor container, or as a border plant. The plant's tolerance of salinity makes it an ideal choice for coastal gardens. East Indies aster is best suited to cultivation in USDA zones 4B to 8A, preferably in full sunlight. The plant likes a well drained, neutral soil that is watered on a regular basis.
A native of the Southeastern United States, Stokes' aster (Stokesia laevis) is a low-growing perennial that reaches an average height of 1 to 2 feet. The plant is notable for its broad green foliage and its fluffy flower heads, which are available in colors ranging from sky blue to midnight blue, lavender, white and even bright yellow. A popular choice for borders, stokes' aster is a long bloomer that will produce flowers from late spring all the way until the first frosts of winter. The plant does best in full sunlight in USDA zones 5 to 10. Stokes' aster prefers a light, acidic and well-draining soil that is kept moist to the touch.