Frost aster Symphyotrichum pilosum var. pringlei

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
white heath aster


The plant commonly known as Frost Aster is characterized by its delicate, daisy-like flowers. Each flower displays a vibrant yellow center, which is surrounded by slender white to pale pink petals that radiate outwards. This gives the bloom a classic and endearing aster appearance that is often associated with late summer and autumn blooms. The leaves of the Frost Aster have a narrow lance-shape, exhibiting a rough texture that can be somewhat bristly to the touch. They are arranged alternately along the stem, creating a dense and bushy foliage. The stems themselves are often wiry and can branch widely, forming a somewhat untidy but naturalistic look that blends seamlessly into wildflower gardens or meadow settings. This charming plant tends to bloom profusely, with its numerous small flowers densely packed in clusters. These flower clusters create an enchanting effect when the plant is in full bloom, attracting a variety of pollinators. The stems and leaves may carry a fine layer of hairs that can sparkle with a touch of frost, which is how it gets its common name. Overall, the Frost Aster is a hardy and attractive plant that adds a touch of wild beauty to any landscape with its cheerful, starry flowers and lush foliage.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Frost Aster, Hairy White Oldfield Aster, Hairy Aster, White Heath Aster, Downy Aster

    • Common names

      Aster pilosus var. pringlei, Symphyotrichum pringlei, Aster pringlei

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Frost aster is generally not considered toxic to humans. There is no widespread documentation of poisoning or adverse effects from accidental ingestion of this plant. However, it's always prudent to avoid consuming any wild plants without proper knowledge.

    • To pets

      Frost aster is not known to be toxic to pets. There aren't any significant reports of pets being poisoned by consuming parts of this plant. Nevertheless, it's still recommended to keep an eye on pets and discourage them from eating plants not meant for consumption, as individual reactions can vary.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-3 feet (0.3-0.9 meters)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (0.3-0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Wildlife Attraction: Symphyotrichum pilosum var. pringlei, commonly known as Frost Aster, attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, providing a food source for them.
    • Erosion Control: The root system of Frost Aster can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: With its delicate white flowers, Frost Aster adds beauty to gardens and landscapes during its blooming season.
    • Habitat Creation: This plant can serve as a part of a habitat for wildlife, offering shelter and breeding grounds for various insects.
    • Drought Resistance: Frost Aster is known for its ability to withstand drought conditions once established, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
    • Low Maintenance: It typically requires minimal care once established, reducing the need for water, fertilizers, and pesticides.
    • Seasonal Interest: It blooms in the fall, providing late-season interest in gardens when many other plants have finished flowering.
    • Naturalization: Frost Aster can spread and naturalize in an appropriate setting, filling out garden spaces and creating a wildflower meadow effect.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Symphyotrichum pilosum var. pringlei, commonly known as Frost Aster, can be used as a natural dye source, with different parts of the plant--such as leaves, stems, and flowers--providing varying shades of color.
    • Frost Aster is beneficial for ecosystem restoration projects, as it can help stabilize soil and foster a suitable environment for other native species to thrive.
    • The plant may be incorporated into rain gardens because of its ability to tolerate wet soil conditions and thus help in managing stormwater runoff.
    • As an educational tool, Frost Aster serves as an example in botany and ecology classes to discuss plant identification, pollination, and the role of native species in local ecosystems.
    • Frost Aster's stems and flowers can be used in crafting for natural decorative wreaths and floral arrangements, especially in the fall when it blooms.
    • In arts, the intricate patterns of Frost Aster can inspire designs in embroidery, painting, and other visual arts.
    • The seeds of Frost Aster can be used to feed birds, especially during the winter months when food is scarce.
    • Frost Aster may be included in wildlife gardens designed to attract and support pollinators like bees and butterflies, which rely on native flowering plants.
    • It can be used as a living mulch in garden beds to suppress weeds while also adding aesthetic value with its late-season blooms.
    • Frost Aster plays a role in scientific research studying the impact of climate change on plant phenology and species distribution.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Frost Aster is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Frost Aster is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience - Symphyotrichum pilosum var. pringlei, also known as Frost Aster, typically blooms late into the fall, resisting the first frosts. This symbolizes the ability to endure and prosper even through challenging conditions.
    • Patience - Frost Aster flowers appear later in the season, representing an ability to wait for the right moment to shine or make an impact.
    • Good Luck - Asters, in general, are considered symbols of good luck and are often associated with magical properties. Having Frost Asters in your garden is believed to attract positive energy.
    • Elegance - With its delicate, narrow petals, the Frost Aster is frequently seen as a symbol of elegance and dainty beauty, often radiating a sense of refined grace.
    • Charm - Asters in folklore are often associated with love and daintiness, and the Frost Aster's charming appearance embodies this sense of allurement.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Frost aster, or Symphyotrichum pilosum var. pringlei, should be watered deeply but infrequently to encourage strong root growth. This plant prefers consistent moisture, so aim to water it once a week with about 1 gallon of water per square foot of soil during the growing season, depending on rainfall and soil conditions. During hot, dry spells, you may need to water twice a week. Reduce watering in the fall as the plant prepares for dormancy, and in winter, watering is typically unnecessary unless there are extended dry periods. Always check the soil moisture before watering; it should be moist but not waterlogged.

  • sunLight

    Frost aster thrives in full sun to partial shade. For best growth, place it in a spot where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. However, it can also tolerate light shade, especially in areas with hot, intense sun. Avoid deep shade as it can impede the plant's flowering and overall vitality.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Frost aster can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but prefers a moderate climate. It can survive minimum winter temperatures of around -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for vigorous growth is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant is hardy and can withstand brief periods of higher or lower temperatures.

  • scissorsPruning

    Frost aster should be pruned to maintain its shape, encourage bushier growth, and promote more vigorous flowering. Prune in early spring before new growth begins by cutting back the previous year’s growth to about 4 inches from the ground. This plant can also be pinched back in early summer to encourage a denser habit and more flowers. Deadheading spent flowers may prolong blooming and prevent self-seeding if desired.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Frost Aster, also known as Symphyotrichum pilosum var. pringlei, thrives in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A mixture of loamy soil with compost and perlite or sand would provide the balance of nutrients and drainage this plant prefers. The ideal pH range for the Frost Aster is between 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    The Frost Aster doesn't frequently require repotting as it is often treated as an annual. However, if grown as a perennial, repotting every 2 to 3 years or when the plant outgrows its container is advisable to refresh the soil and give its roots more room to grow.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Frost Asters are tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels but prefer average to slightly moist atmospheric conditions. They do not require any special humidity adjustments when grown outside in their natural environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide the Frost Aster with bright indirect light and good air flow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade in well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Symphyotrichum pilosum var. pringlei, commonly known as Pringle's Frost Aster, begins its life as a seed, which germinates in the spring when temperatures and soil conditions are favorable. Upon germination, the seedling emerges and develops its first true leaves, entering the vegetative growth phase where it forms a rosette and then elongates its stems. Throughout the growing season, the plant continues to develop, producing branching stems and leaves characteristic of asters. As it matures, Pringle's Frost Aster enters the reproductive phase, usually in late summer to fall, where it develops flower heads composed of both ray and disc florets. Following pollination by insects attracted to its blooms, the plant produces seeds, which are then dispersed by wind or wildlife to complete the cycle. Finally, as a perennial, it dies back to the ground after frost but emerges again from its root system in the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • The most popular method of propagation for Symphyotrichum pilosum var. pringlei, commonly known as Frost Aster, is through seed sowing. Seeds can be collected in the fall after the flowers have matured and the seed heads are dry. Sowing should take place in late winter or early spring, ideally in a cold frame or indoors under grow lights. Surface sow the seeds onto a well-draining growing medium, as they require light to germinate, and keep the soil moist but not soggy. Germination usually occurs in two to four weeks at temperatures between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 degrees Celsius). Seedlings can be transplanted outdoors once the threat of frost has passed and they have developed a robust root system.