The Asters are an excellent transition plant, connecting the summer and fall seasons. The colorful, daisy-like aster blossoms add a dash of color to the garden. As a result, the following article from gardenhow.net will provide all you need to know about planting Asters. Let’s discover!
Aster means “star” in Greek. They belong to the daisy family and are distinguished by their starburst arrangement of brilliant petals that usually surround a yellow center. Therefore, planting Asters in the garden, when in full bloom, the blooms are small yet plentiful, giving the plants the appearance of being “all color.”
Asters have a longstanding tradition. They’re also known as the Michaelmas daisy since they bloom around the fall equinox, which also happens to be St. Michael’s feast day.
New England and New York Asters are the most prevalent perennial Asters. It can be difficult to distinguish between the various types of each.
Asters range in height from 1 to 6 feet and in breadth from 1 to 4 feet, with some kinds having an unknown width.
Aster flowers have a yellow center with blue, purple, red, white, and pale yellow petals. The petals are usually flat and narrow or rounded into a tube shape.
The aster flower is a composite flower, which means that the flower’s center is made up of several small blossoms called florets. The florets make it easy for bees to pollinate the plant, which aids in the development of new aster species.
Moreover, the Aster flower, a one-year-old leafy and bushy flower with a distinct aroma that grows stronger as soon as we harvest it.
History and Meaning
Asters have a colorful and fascinating history that explains how they received their name, as the flower is mostly associated with the goddess Astraea in Greek mythology.
The Aster flowers were thought to be extremely beneficial in ancient Greece since it was thought to keep snakes and evil spirits away from the home.
Aster flowers were said to represent two young girls who got lost in the woods in Native American culture. When an old herb lady discovered them, she decided to change the girls into flowers to spare their lives because she had predicted their fate. The one girl in the blue outfit was transformed into the Aster flower.
The Aster flowers are believed to have magical properties across Europe, particularly in England and Germany. As a result, this flower was frequently utilized in many magical potions.
Types of Asters
When other plants have completed flowering, plant various types of Asters in your garden to brighten it up. Purple or lilac asters are the most prevalent aster flower colors.
The two most common types of Asters planted in gardens are New England Asters and New York Asters.
New England Asters
The plants have erect stems that can reach a height of several feet. The stems are covered in fine “hairs,” or bristles, and the leaves are lance-shaped.
The flowers are pinkish-purple in color with yellow-orange centers and are about 1.5 inches in diameter.
There are many different types of New England Asters that are the best choices for planting in your garden, and most of them seem alike, yet have varied blossom colors. Here are a few examples:
Barr’s Pink Aster is a particularly lovely New England aster because of its bright pink blossoms. As a result, planting Barr’s Pink Aster in your garden will definitely turn it into a romantic land.
Regarding the appearance, multiple rows of densely packed tiny pink-colored petals radiate out in a star configuration on this aster’s flowers. The flower’s center is a contrasting bronze color, giving it a traditional ‘daisy’ appearance.
Barr’s Pink grows to about 5 ft. (150 cm) tall.
Each perennial plant bears a profusion of stunning purple blooms with yellow center disks. When the plant blooms in late summer and fall, it takes on a colorful, bushy appearance. The flower stems reach a height of around 3 feet (100 cm).
Rosa Sieger Asters
The New England aster ‘Rosa Sieger’ produces a large number of light rose-pink blooms with yellow centers. These Asters reach a height of 3 to 4 feet (90-120 cm) and a spread of up to 2 feet (60 cm).
On tall arching stems with deep green, lance-shaped foliage, vivid crimson rose blooms with huge yellow-orange centers bloom.
The purple and yellow September Ruby grows 3 to 4 feet (90 – 120 cm) tall, similar to most New England Asters.
‘KICKIN’ New England Asters
‘KICKIN Lilac Blue’: These light-blue purple Asters are distinguished by their lovely blue petals and yellow disk cores.
Another kind of ‘KICKIN’ New England Asters – ‘KICKIN Pink Chiffon’: Each flower head has semi-double flowers with a daisy-like appearance. When they bloom in late summer and fall, the ray petals surround a spherical yellow center, creating an eye-catching sea of brilliant colors.
‘KICKIN Carmine Red’: These magenta-red semi-double flowers with vivid yellow circles in the center. They have a contrasting yellow button-type center, as do most Asters.
New York Asters
New York Asters are also far showier than the modest flowers of the New England aster genera. Despite cultivar differences, New York Asters can be significantly shorter and have more stunning flowers.
Ada Ballard Asters
Aster novi-belgii ‘Ada Ballard’ (New York Aster) has masses of enormous, double, lavender-blue flowers with a radiant yellow center, measuring 3 in. across (7.5 cm). They grow up to 36-40 inches tall (90-100 cm) and 12-16 inches broad, having an erect, bushy habit (30-40 cm).
Chatterbox New York Asters
The New York Aster, Aster novi-belgii ‘Chatterbox,’ has masses of big, semi-double, pale lilac-pink flowers with slender ray petals. They bloom for weeks from late summer to mid-fall on thin, branching stems with lance-shaped gray-green leaves, brightening any sunny part of the garden.
They grow up to 14-16 inches tall and wide with an erect, bushy appearance (35-40 cm).
Aster novi-belgii ‘Royal Ruby’ (New York Aster) adds dramatic color to the late summer garden with masses of semi-double, rich mulberry-red blooms with bright golden yellow discs. Up to 18-20 inches tall (45-50 cm) and 12-18 inches broad, they have an erect, bushy habit (30-45 cm).
Aster novi-belgii ‘Fellowship’ (New York Aster) has masses of large, wonderfully shaped pale pink double flowers with neatly quill-shaped ray petals, up to 2.25 in. broad (6 cm). As the flowers grow, their numerous petals softly twist and turn to enclose their fresh lime-green center, giving them the appearance of soft pompoms.
Prof. Anton Kippenberg Asters
Their semi-double flowers have a traditional aster star form, and their light lilac colors with yellow disk centers add a lovely splash of color to a late-fall landscape.
Other Types of Aster
Here is a list of some of the most fascinating autumn-blooming varieties of Asters for your planting.
- Snow Flurry
- Nanus Asters
- Vua George
- Rosa Erfullung
- Grunder Asters
- ‘Monch’ Frikart’s Asters
- Little Carlow Asters
- Symphyotrichum ‘Ochtendgloren’ Asters
When is the best time for planting Asters?
Hardiness zones of aster are zones 3 to 8. Mid- to late spring is the best time to sow young Asters. If you want to leave your Asters potted, though, you can plant them as soon as they become available, which is usually in the fall.
In addition, Spring and fall are the best times for planting Asters in the South since the plant can establish itself before being exposed to extreme heat or cold. However, in the North, planting Asters till early fall is a suitable time. Because this will allow the roots to establish themselves before the winter arrives.
Where is the best place for planting Asters?
Plant at least 6 weeks before the first frost in cold climates to allow the plants to establish. Aster is a flexible plant that can be used in borders, rock gardens, or wildflower gardens, depending on the height.
Asters prefer temperate areas with humid summers and cool evening temperatures. If you reside in a hotter region, though, simply plant your Asters away from the midday sun. You should plant your Asters in well-drained soil.
They require a lot of space around them in order for their roots to spread.
How to plant Asters
From late summer through autumn, Asters develop beautiful daisy-like flowers. Asters are simple to grow from seed but germination is not always consistent. We can plant Asters from seed in both nursery and non-nursery settings. Actually, we should plant Asters in early to mid-March and begin blooming in July. Sow late April or early May for later cultivars when the temperature is at least 50°F (10°C).
How to sow aster seeds indoors?
Aster seeds grow best after being exposed to cold for a few weeks to simulate winter dormancy, a process known as “stratification.”
Step 1: Prepare Aster seed tray
- To use as a drip tray, for example, you can cut the top off an empty foam egg carton and place it aside. With a toothpick, poke three drainage holes in the bottom of each egg carton cell.
- If you don’t have a seedling tray, you can use plastic cups, pots, or other tiny containers. Containers should have a depth of 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10 cm).
- Fill a large plastic seedling tray or a flat with seeds.
Step 2: Sow the seeds
- Each seedling compartment should have one seed. Push the seed down into the soil to a depth of about 1 inch (2.5 cm).
- After planting the seeds of Asters in a compartment, lightly brush soil over the hole produced by the seed.
Step 3: Store in the refrigerator
- Cover the seedling tray loosely with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. For four to six weeks, leave it there.
- Chilling the seeds artificially mimics the natural chilling process of seeds.
- Using a refrigerator instead of the chilly ground outside prevents the seeds from freezing and dying.
Step 4: Transfer to a sunny spot
- Remove the seeds from the refrigerator two to four weeks before the last frost is expected. Place the tray in a bright area of the house.
- Each day, this location should receive at least six hours of sunlight.
Three to four months after sowing the seeds, your Asters will blossom.
Transplanting Seedlings Outdoors
Step 1: After the threat of frost has gone, transplant Asters seedlings outdoors in early to mid-May. This remains true whether you’re working with seedlings started indoors, seedlings purchased from a nursery, or plants separated from existing Asters.
Step 2: Find a sunny location with well-drained soil.
Asters grow in full sun to moderate shade conditions. The soil can be either rich or average in quality, but it must drain effectively.
Step 3: Improve the soil – Before transplanting the Asters, add a little nutrient-dense compost to the soil if it isn’t already very rich.
- Loosen the top 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) of soil at the planting spot with a garden fork or tiller.
- 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) of compost should be added. Using a garden fork, incorporate the compost into the loosened soil.
Step 4: Dig deep holes
- Each hole should be double the diameter of the seedling compartment or container in which the aster plant is currently housed.
- The hole’s depth should be about the same as the present container’s.
- Individual plants should be planted 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) apart. Miniature kinds may only require 4 to 6 inch spacing (10 to 15 cm).
Step 5: Carefully remove the seedling
Gently press on the sides of each seedling’s plastic compartment. Begin from the bottom and gradually work your way up. The seedling, its root ball, and the soil that is linked to it should all be able to easily exit the compartment.
Step 6: Place the seedling in a planting hole
- Place each aster plant in the center of its planting hole, with the root ball’s top level with the surrounding soil surface.
- Gently pat the soil into place with your hands.
Step 7: Water
Water the soil thoroughly as soon as the seedlings are planted to help settle the soil and encourage the plants to establish themselves.
- Shorten the seedlings’ roots when picking. Water moderately after adding ash to the transplanting soil.
- Feed the seedlings with a compound fertilizer solution one week after picking, and then once a week until planting in the open.
- Begin to gradually adapt to their environment: move them outside for a while, as toughened seedlings are more likely to take root.
- Your seedlings should have a robust stem up to 4 inches (10cm) tall with 6-8 large green leaves when planted.
- You can grow Aster indoors, but make sure to use peat-based potting soil, give them at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, and fertilize once a month.
What are the best conditions for growing Asters?
First of all, it is worth considering soil condition. Asters thrive in loamy, rich soil. This type of soil is rich in nutrients and usually contains a significant amount of organic matter. It’s damp and loose, but not muddy or waterlogged. Asters dislike sandy soil because it dries out the roots of the plants. The PH of soil ranges from 5.8 to 6.5.
Asters dislike moist soil because it causes root rot and other root diseases, making the plants sickly. For optimum growth, choose a place that drains well.
If you live in a cold climate, apply a thick layer of mulch around the base of your plant, on top of the soil, before the first frost of the season.
Plant Asters flowers in an area that gets plenty of sun throughout the day. Too much shade might result in lanky plants with fewer blooms, especially in common varieties and hybrids.
Keep fresh plantings moist and water them often until the flowers are done blooming. Water your Asters from the base to avoid spilling water on the leaves, which can cause mildew or fungal growth.
Another point worth noting is that Aster flowers flourish in cooler temperatures and are frost-hardy, meaning they can endure temperatures below freezing for a short time.
Asters have no unique humidity requirements and will not require further spritzing or increased humidity levels.
If grown in fertile soil, Asters rarely require additional fertilizer. In the spring, add 12 cups of organic balanced fertilizer together with compost.
According to some conditions for growing aster mentioned above, you can choose types of them and planting methods in your garden.
How to grow Asters throughout the season?
Research has found that, depending on the type and species, Asters can grow to be 1 to 6 feet tall and 1 to 4 feet broad. Plants with hairy or smooth leaves and daisy-like flowers are erect and bushy.
To keep tall types of Asters, such as New England Asters, from flopping over in the fall, stake or cage them in midsummer.
Water your young plants frequently. During dry spells in the summer, water established plants. Drought-stressed plants may not blossom or grow as vigorously in the fall.
The aster should be fertilized once in the spring to encourage development and promote a luxuriant bloom. Compost, for example, can be raked into the ground for this purpose. A complete fertilizer is also a viable option.
Mulching is only essential on dry soils to maintain soil moisture levels, prevent weeds, and safeguard marginally hardy types in your area. In the spring, cover the base of the plant with a 2 to 3-inch thick layer of shredded bark mulch.
Allowing the mulch to accumulate around the stems can cause the crown to decay.
Trimming & Pruning
The aster plant will respond by producing additional side branches and becoming bushier if the top few inches of growth are removed.
How to Care for Asters
After planting Asters, taking care of Asters is believed to be one of the most important stages for aster development.
How to take care of Asters after they start growing?
Let’s look at some steps to take care of Asters after they start growing,
Step 1: Cover the area with mulch
- Immediately after planting and every spring, mulch the Asters with 2 inches (5 cm) of mulch.
- Remove any old mulch before spreading fresh mulch in the spring.
- In the summer, mulch keeps the soil cool, and in the winter, it keeps the soil warm. It also aids in the control and prevention of weed growth.
Step 2: Water as needed
- During the growing season, keep track of how much rain you get each week. If you don’t get more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) of rain in a week, wet the planting site’s soil.
- Plants that receive insufficient water lose their blossoms and leaves.
- Too much water can cause plants to yellow and wither.
Step 3: Fertilizer
- Before new vegetation emerges in the spring, you should apply a thin layer of compost to the soil.
- Mix a balanced, general-purpose fertilizer into the soil once a month for even greater results. Apply the fertilizer according to the package directions.
- Pinch back the growing tips by one-third between late spring and early summer. This promotes bushier, less lanky growth, as well as lateral stems and blossoms.
- Tall plants may need to be staked with sticks and rope as they age to keep them from flopping over.
Read more: When do Asters bloom?
How to take care of Asters after they bloom?
With the proper method of planting Asters, your Aster has the ability to develop and bloom. Asters have a long blooming period by nature, but with proper care before and after blossoming, they can bloom until the first frost in the fall.
Moreover, once a week, deeply water the Asters before and throughout bloom. Water the soil at the base of the blooms until it is moist to a depth of 6 inches, but avoid watering the foliage from above.
Early in the summer, cut your Asters with hedge clippers to approximately 18 inches, which will encourage the plant to branch out and blossom more.
When pruning Asters, pinch off the dying blooms to make way for new growth. Dead or wilting stems should be removed right away. It’s neccessary to cut the flowers when they are almost fully bloomed and bring them indoors to enjoy in a vase for the simplest of pruning.
In addition, you should cut the stems at ground level when the foliage is ultimately killed by frost.
Aster Cut Flower Care
Asters are recognized for having a very long vase life.
When the blooms on Asters are just starting to open, cut them for floral arrangements.
Pick them and place them in a vase; they can last for more than a fortnight if kept cool.
If you remove all of the leaves below the waterline, thin out the leaves up the stem a little more, and add a drop of vinegar to the water, the cut-flower potential will be maximized.
Choose stems that have about a third of their florets open. Dry florets and brown or yellow patches on the foliage should be avoided.
Methods for aster seed collecting
As a result, you’ll learn about harvesting and storing methods. It’s simple to figure out when to harvest. As the first frost date approaches, you’ll see them drying out. Each flower’s petals dry, fade, and fall away after it blooms. The seed head has formed when the once-golden core disk turns brown, and you can begin.
The head begins to disintegrate after a while, like fluffy cotton tufts. The fibrous wisps aid seed flight, allowing them to self-sow wherever they fall on the first breeze. It’s the best time for harvesting.
There are 3 methods to collect Aster seeds.
Some gardeners like to wait until the entire garden has dried up and the Asters are all cottony before planting.
Flower Head Snipping
The second method is to harvest individual flower heads by snipping off individual dry flower heads with one hand while holding a paper shopping bag beneath a plant with the other.
The advantage is that self-sowing is reduced to a minimum, but this necessitates a monitoring exercise that many people would find tedious.
Seed Head Crumbling
Take a paper shopping bag and place it below a plant, then brush the dried heads between my thumb and fingers until they loosen and fall in. You can do this on a regular basis, leaving fresh flowers alone, or at the end of the season.
Aster Seeds Saving
First of all, you should discard any heads that are damp or moldy. The methods below will assist in ensuring that your gathered seed is fresh and ready to plant next season:
On the outside, seeded flower heads may appear brown and dry, yet on the inside, they may still be moist and alive. Find a cool, dry spot with sufficient air circulation where they will be undisturbed for one week to ensure they are entirely dry before storage.
Simply bind gathered stalks together with twine and suspend them upside-down from nails, hooks, and other objects. To catch loose seeds, place a newspaper or a clean cloth below.
Moreover, layout the newspaper and spread the contents of your bag(s) over it in a single layer for clipped flower heads and crushed heads, ensuring that all portions have maximum contact with cool, dry air.
The heads should be dry and ready for the next process after a week. The cottony fluff, as well as fragments of dry stem and leaf, will most likely still be connected.
Allow further time if the pieces haven’t completely dried, or discard any soft or moist material.
After you’ve cleared out the debris, it’s time to save the seeds for next year. Keep them in airtight containers in a cold, dry place like a shed or basement. Be wary of suggestions to store them in the refrigerator since they may be excessively moist.
There are several choices available, including:
- Glass jars Envelopes
- Tins of metal
- Plastic bags with zipper
In conclusion, you should plan to use harvested aster seeds in the next growing season for best results.
Start with seeds, soft stem cuttings, divisions, or nursery plants to create your own fall-blooming perennial Asters. Let’s look at each method properly.
First of all, start seeds indoors four weeks before your region’s final typical spring frost date. The method of propagating aster from seed is the same as the aster seed germination method mentioned above. At the end of the season, you can even gather seeds for planting Asters in the future.
From Soft Stem Cuttings
Taking soft stem cuttings from an existing plant is one technique to replicate the traits of a parent. Cut a six-inch length of the highest portion of a tender, young stem with disinfected pruning shears.
Leaves from the bottom three to four inches of the stem should be removed.
Dip the stem’s cut end in rooting hormone powder.
Bury the dipped cutting to a depth of two to three inches in a biodegradable starting pot filled with rooting or a porous potting medium.
The other thing that is very necessary is to maintain an even moisture level, but don’t allow it to become soggy and place the pot in a bright spot.
Place the pot in a bright spot.
Another approach to propagating a favored variety is by digging up an established clump and splitting it into two or more portions that can be replanted as needed.
Dividing your Asters on a regular basis promotes stronger growth and flowering. Reduced clump density also increases airflow, which can help to prevent fungal growth like powdery mildew.
Here are 2 methods to divide:
- Cut and Separate: is by repeatedly cutting straight down through its roots.
- Dig Up and Separate:is to dig up and divide the entire clump into parts for replanting
Plant division in the spring allows young plants to adapt before summer temperatures rise. It also allows plants plenty of time to form buds in preparation for a fall bloom.
From Nursery Plants
Established potted cultivars are available for transplant to the home garden from local and internet nurseries.
Unpot the plants after purchasing. Leave any compacted roots in the nursery pot and settle them into the ground at the same depth as they were in the nursery pot, leaving the majority of the potting soil intact.
Tamp the soil, water thoroughly, and apply an inch of water per week to keep it moist.
Pests and Diseases
During planting Asters, pests and disease are one of the concerns of gardeners. During its growing season, the aster flower is sensitive to a variety of pests and diseases, which can be avoided with the application of pesticides and fungicides.
Aphids, leafhoppers, spider mites, thrips, whiteflies, weevils, and scales are the most common pests that attack and consume the leaves of the aster plant.
Here is a list of the diseases that often occur during the planting of Asters:
- Aster Yellows: Yellow leaves. There is abnormal branching. Instead of flower components, yellowed, leaf-like tissue grows.
- Fusarium Wilt: Young Seedlings are killed. Older plants are stunted and exhibit yellowing and wilting on one side. The stems’ water-conducting tissue browns.
- Leaf Spots: On the leaves, spots appear. Yellow leaves wilt and perish. Lower leaves are usually afflicted initially, with symptoms progressing higher.
- Rust: On the underside of leaves, spores from reddish-orange clumps. Leaves that are severely impacted become yellow and perish. In the spring, blisters of spores grow on the needles of the alternate host, pines.
- Botrytis Blight: On the petals, brown flecks appear. The whole blossom turns brown and dies.
Aster Companion Plants
Asters are stunning, but they look best when paired with the correct plants to accentuate their vibrant blooms. When choosing aster companion plants, keep in mind the growth circumstances as well as the Asters’ height and spread. If you choose plants that are too little, they will be overshadowed by your Asters.
- Bluestem goldenrod: It contrasts nicely with the pink, blue, and purple Asters.
- Zinnia: Zinnia is related to Asters and makes an excellent partner for them if the color is chosen correctly.
- Hardy mums: Mums and Asters are natural friends because they bloom late and grow in similar environments.
- Black-eyed Susan: This lovely yellow flower blooms throughout summer and should keep blooming with your Asters.
- Ornamental grasses: Aster companion plants also benefit from a little foliage. Ornamental grasses are available in a wide range of colors, heights, widths, and other qualities.
When the Asters are combined with their friends, a beautiful scene emerges.
Uses & Benefits of Aster Flowers
Some argue that Aster has many benefits for health and is used widely in the world.
When it comes to the advantages of Aster, throughout the world, the aster has been used for medical reasons. The New England aster is an excellent example of a medicinal plant. According to research, this late-blooming plant is good for the lungs and helps with respiratory health. A tincture produced from this flower can help people with chronic lung diseases like asthma or those who are fighting a cold.
It has several health benefits and has long been used to treat weak skin, discomfort, fevers, and diarrhea.
Besides, the aster plant was used to treat venereal disease by several civilizations. For ages, Chinese medicine and other cultures have used the aster root in diverse ways. The root can help with headache pain and can also act as a laxative. This flowering plant has also been used to treat other diseases such as hangovers and epilepsy.
The aster plant’s leaves and blooming tips are edible and can be used as greens or garnish in salads. Tea or tincture can be prepared from several components of the plant, including the root, leaves, and flowers.
Planting Asters has a variety of current and historical purposes.
Furthermore, this kind of flower is an inspiration source for many artists, including Claude Monet, the famous French Impressionist painter who included the bloom in his painting Vase of Asters in 1880.
Protesters wore aster flowers during the liberal-democratic revolution in Budapest, Hungary in 1918. The Aster Revolution was born as a result of this movement.
Asters make lovely flower arrangements for all occasions, especially when arranged in vases or baskets.
With all of the benefits of Asters, why should you consider planting any types of Asters in your garden?
Q&A about Asters
Are Asters annual or perennial?
Asters are easy-to-grow perennials that take care of themselves throughout the summer. Their bright blossoms arrive later in the season, just when other flowers are starting to fade.
Will Asters Spread?
Every Aster can spread. They’re rowdy plants with underground rhizomes that spread. While they make a good ground cover and rarely pose serious difficulties in the garden, they can get weedy at times.
What do Asters symbolize?
Many gardeners appreciate Asters not just for their beauty, but also for their symbolic meanings such as Love and Fidelity, Daintiness and Charm, Patience and Wisdom, Faith and Hope, Farewell and Valor and Light.
Throughout history, Asters have been prized for their simple beauty and positive connotation. Therefore, planting Aster becomes more and more popular.
Aster flowers are mysterious and ethereal, making them a lovely choice for your house, or garden, or as a surprise bouquet of blossoms to win your partner’s approval. gardenhow.net has featured all you need to know in this article, from aster information, and planting Asters to how to take care of and use them.
When do Asters bloom?