Growing The Aster Flower
Asters: Easy Gardening Tips for Wonderful Late Summer and Fall Blooms
Aster comes from the ancient Greek word, “star”. It is also known as frost flower, Startwort, Michealmas daisy and September flower.
The Aster flower come in different sizes, with some varieties can grow as high as six feet, while dwarf types grow less than a foot tall.
What’s interesting about the Aster flower is that it doesn’t blossom in orange or yellow shades and only bloom in purple, violet, blue and white. However, all Asters have a yellow center. And did you know that this yellow core is comprised of numerous tiny flowerets?
Aster flowers are one of the most widely distributed flowers worldwide for commercial purposes. The primary reason is because Aster’s beautiful and vivid colors can suit almost any decorative floral arrangement.
Florists also love them because all varieties have long lasting vase life. These beautiful flowers do not wither up until 10 days after cutting.
Raising the number of Aster flowers in your garden can be done in 2 ways: from seed or by division. Asters are easy to grow perennial that develops well in average soil, provided that it must be moist and not wet. The soil bed must have good drainage. How? You can mix sand into the soil and put gravel under the soil base. Keep in mind that badly drained soil can cause fungus to grow, and this will destroy the roots before your Asters have fully developed. Moreover, full sun exposure must be obtainable.
Growing Asters From Seeds
You can grow Aster flowers from seeds directly into your garden or indoors (for transplanting purposes in the future). It is best to plant Asters in pots indoors so you can control the proper spacing and where to transplant them at a later time, preferably in early spring. Always make use of fresh seeds.
Sow the seeds early in the season. Place a layer of seeding mix in a shallow dish, add the seeds and cover lightly with a thin layer of seeding soil. Remember to water the seeds thoroughly once, and then cover with a transparent plastic wrap. This will aid in retaining moisture. Keeping your seeds in a damp environment during the initial germination process is crucial. If the seeds dry out during this time, the germination will cease and this means wasted seeds. The germination process runs for about 10 days.
Aster seeds germinate easily and grow fast. Once you see a few leaves, you can readily transplant the seedlings directly into your flower garden where they can be cared for and grown for years. Spacing is vital. This will prevent the roots from strangling the nearby plant. Spacing will depend upon the size and variety of Aster flowers. Dwarf/miniature Asters must be spaced 4-6 inches apart, while tall varieties 1-2 feet apart.
Growing Asters By Division
Divide your Aster plants every 2-3 years. Dig out half of the plant, leaving the remainder in place. Separate the removed portion into two sections and replant in fresh planting soil. Water thoroughly and add fertilizer to both clumps (the original plant and two new sections) to aid in promoting root growth.
Growing Healthy Asters
As a wrap-up, here’s your checklist if you want bigger blooms and long-lasting Asters.
- Average soil (moist and well-drained)
- Sunny position
- Proper spacing
- Water once or twice a week
- Plenty of compost
- Fertilizer once a month
- Fungicide/repellent, if needed
Generally, Asters are resistant to insects and disease problems. If you encounter these problems, treat the plants with organic insect repellents and fungicide.
So there you have it! With proper germination process and care, you can feast your eyes on beautiful and vibrant Aster flowers around mid to late summer!