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How to Grow Aster Flowers
Callistephus, Annuals and Perennials
Asters are easy to grow. There are both annual and perennial varieties. Annuals grow 1-3 feet. Perennials tend to grow larger, with some varieties growing as large as 5 feet. Perennials are native to North America and southern Europe. Aster are daisy-like in appearance even though they are a member of the sunflower family.
All varieties of Aster are good as cut flowers, for vases and arrangements.
Colors include blue, purple, white, red, and a variety of pinks. All Asters are yellow in the center of the flower.
Annual and perennial Asters can be grown from seed. Seeds can be started indoors, 2-4 weeks before the last frost. Or, direct sow them outdoors after the soil begins to warm in the spring.
Perennial varieties can also be propagated by plant division. Separate/divide established plants every two to three years. To do so, dig up the plants and separate into 3 to 4 clumps. Immediately replant them in their new home, and water well.
How to Grow Aster Plants:
Asters grow well in rich to average soils. The soil need to be porous. Like all plants, they will reward you with bigger blooms and a healthier plant, if you add plenty of compost. Also add a general purpose fertilizer once a month.
Sow seeds early in the season and cover lightly with soil. Water thoroughly once. They germinate easily and grow quickly, producing blooms by mid-summer.
Transplant perennial Asters into your garden into an area where they can be grown for years. Spacing depends upon size, with miniature varieties spaced four to six inches apart, and Giant varieties one to two feet apart. Smaller varieties make good border edging. Large varieties look their best, when placed in the back of the flowerbed.
Once your Aster are established, they will grow well for years.
Soil should be moist, but not wet. Aster does not do well in wet soils. They will withstand dry periods. Once plants are established, they only need water during extended droughts.
Plants will begin to bloom in mid to late summer. You can expect continuous blooms up to frost. Remove dead flower blooms to improve plant appearance. For giant varieties, trim back any stalks as desired, to maintain an attractive appearance.
Cuttings for Indoors:
Sturdy stalks and big blooms makes Asters good candidates for flower vases and other arrangements. Cut the stem low, check for insects hiding in the flower, on the stem, and under the leaves. Bring cut flowers indoors and immediately place in water.
For smaller varieties, use a small container or vase and cut the stem a couple inches long. Bunch up a variety of colors for an eye-appealing arrangement.
Smaller varieties look great in containers.
Insect and Disease:
Aphids can infest Aster on occasion. Powdery mildew can also be a problem. We recommend applying insecticides, repellents, or fungicides early......before problems take hold.
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