By Phran Novelli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Some perennial plants need pinching or shearing back as the season goes by to keep them neat and tidy. You may be familiar with the idea of pinching back Chrysanthemums up until the 4th of July, so that those fall bloomers will stay compact rather than opening up and flopping all over the place.
Instead of mums, however, I encourage you to plant asters, because they also bloom from late summer into fall, but because asters are native plants, they can do something mums can't do: become a nursery for baby butterflies! Our native asters come in beautiful colors like pink, blue and purple and they attract butterflies to lay their babies on the leaves, which butterflies can't do on mum plants.
So, plant some asters, and if you have some asters already, now is the time to pinch or shear them back to keep your plants tighter and tidier, and encourage a bigger burst of blooms when they do flower in a few months.
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