Growing Tips From an Expert for Stokesia ‘Divinity’
Stokesia laevis ‘Divinity’ is a cultivar of the North American Native Stokes’ aster that grows in wetlands, bogs, savannas, and open woodlands stretching along the coastal plain from North Carolina to Florida to Louisiana. In warmer areas, Stokes’ aster is an evergreen perennial. ‘Divinity’ has large, white flowers that open with a hint of yellow in the center and then mature to a pure, long-lasting white. Birds, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators flock to its blooms.
Emerald Coast Growers’ General Manager and Head Grower Josiah Raymer says ‘Divinity’ performed well for him in propagation and production trials. During production, it finished out in gallon pots similar to the species in size and timeframe. In in-ground trials, it produces nice, mounding plants in full-sun beds. Northern growers with a longer winter season may need to give ‘Divinity’ some winter protection, Raymer says, while southern growers may have a hard time managing moisture levels in a warmer, wet, winter climate.
If you’re thinking about growing ‘Divinity,’ Raymer shares the following tips:
• Keep crops evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, especially during winter months.
• Provide winter protection in colder zones (some regions may not need it).
• Grow crops in bright light/full sun to produce vigorous, compact plants.
• Avoid high fertilizer rates to prevent weak, leggy growth.
Raymer’s Recommendations for Growing Stokesia ‘Divinity’ Successfully:
Fertilizer: Use a balanced perennial fertilizer at a low to medium rate
Propagation: Pot up from liners, which can be produced from cuttings or division
Plant Growth Regulators: None
Lighting: Stokesia prefer bright light and full sun
Growing Media: Use well-drained, porous media
Planting/Scheduling: Plant crops in early spring for spring sales or early fall for overwintering. Expect a finish time of 10 to 12 weeks.
Pests: There are no specific pests that affect Stokesia in a way that requires preventative treatment. Scout crops regularly to treat for any minor pests that show up.
Diseases: Emerald Coast Growers uses a preventative fungicide rotation on its Stokesia crops, but Stokesia is not particularly susceptible to specific diseases. As always, a good scouting program can help with any problems that do come up.
Learn more about Stokesia ‘Divinity’ at ECGrowers.com.