Eastern Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana)

Eastern Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) is a native to North America perennial that typically blooms in May. It has an wonderful upright mounded shape and gets covered in clusters of tiny blue flowers. It grows 2-3 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide and does best in full to part sun. Any less, and it may need staking to keep it upright. Eastern Bluestar handles a range of soils and, once established, is somewhat drought tolerant—a terrific perennial for a mixed perennial garden that also has nice yellow fall foliage too. Eastern Bluestar takes a few years to get up to size but its well worth the wait. It’s deer resistant and doesn’t have a lot of pest problems. Found in zones 4-9.


Key Details

Plant Type: Perennial

Plant Name: Eastern Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana)

Plant Description: Spring-blooming perennial with upright mounded shape and clusters of light to medium blue flowers

Height: 2′-3′

Spread: 2’-3’

Foliage: Green, turns yellow then light brown in the fall

Flower: Small start like flowers in clusters

Bloom time: May

Site Conditions:

Climate: Zones 4-9

Soil: Loamy soil, pH from 6.0 to 6.5

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Specific Conditions: Deer resistant and pest resistant

Style Considerations:

A perfect perennial garden plant that offers a nice transition between lower and taller plants in the garden. Great early flowers and nice fall foliage that turns yellow.


Watering: Moist well-drained soils are best. Watering weekly or biweekly if needed is typically best. Can handle some drought conditions.

Mulching: Not required but always helps especially if you need to add organic matter to the soil.

Fertilizing: Not needed if you have healthy humus-rich soil with plenty of organic matter.

Weeding: Does a great job at stifling weeds due to its dense mound like foliage that keeps most weeds from getting through.

Deadheading: You can cut back the yellowing foliage once it yellows and falls to the ground when it starts to go dormant.

Staking: Eastern Bluestar needs full sun to have a nice compact habit. It will flop around if it doesn’t get enough sun. Consider staking in part shade conditions. Hoop stakes work well if placed early.

Dividing: Yes, in early spring as they emerge or early fall

Transplanting: Early spring when they start to appear or early fall is best but anytime works with sufficient watering.

Pruning: See deadheading

Pests: If planted in the right conditions it has few pests.

Winterizing: Cut back any stems that remain 2-3 inches above the ground after the first hard frost or two (when the ground freezes). You can also use straw or pile some leaves over the plants.




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