<b> How to grow Asters </b>

How to grow Asters

  • Fitfit Garden

Asters, also known as Michaelmas daisies, are delightful and easy-to-grow perennials that bloom in late summer and autumn, adorning gardens with their colorful daisy-like flowers year after year. They are particularly attractive to beneficial wildlife due to their abundant pollen and nectar.

Varieties of Asters:

  1. Aster amellus: This species, also known as the European or Eurasian Aster, is a common type of Aster found in the UK. It boasts a wide range of cultivars and varieties.

    • Aster amellus ‘King George’: This cultivar stands out for its long flowering period and large lilac or pink flowers.

    • Aster amellus 'Rosa Erfulling’: With soft pink flowers and a clumping growth habit, this variety makes for an eye-catching addition to small borders.

    • Aster amellus ‘Sonia’: Featuring pink flowers and reaching heights of up to 60cm (24"), this cultivar adds charm to any garden.

    • Aster amellus ‘Veilchenkönigin’: Boasting purple flowers up to 5cm (2") across and mildew resistance, this cultivar thrives even in humid conditions.

  2. North American Asters (Symphyotrichum spp. and Eurybia): These varieties, originating from North America, offer a diverse array of options for gardeners.

    • Insert examples of specific cultivars or varieties of North American Asters if desired

Asters are excellent choices for mixed borders, where they can complement other plants while attracting pollinators and enhancing the overall beauty of the garden. With their vibrant blooms and ease of care, Asters are sure to bring joy to any garden setting.

    Asters flowering in autumn

    What you’ll need to grow Asters

    To plant Asters, gather the following supplies:

    • Gloves
    • Garden spade
    • Horticultural grit
    • Aster plant
    • Premium border booster soil improver (such as Miracle-Gro® Peat Free)
    • Watering can
    • Slug and snail barrier (like SlugClear™)
    • Premium fibre smart mulch (such as Miracle-Gro® Peat Free)
    • BugClear™ Ultra 2

    Where to plant and place your Asters

    Aster amellus thrives in garden borders with ample sunlight, well-drained soil, and consistent moisture. Avoid heavy clay soils. For a traditional cottage-like atmosphere, position them alongside Rudbeckia, Chrysanthemum, and Phlox. If space permits, plant them in clumps or at even intervals for a vibrant display. Alternatively, Asters can be grown in containers with careful monitoring to prevent drying out. Ensure adequate spacing as they can spread up to 50cm (24 inches). Good airflow is essential to prevent powdery mildew.

    When to plant Asters

    Plant Aster amellus outdoors in spring, between March and May.

    How to plant Asters

    1. Wear gloves when handling compost and plants.
    2. Dig a hole slightly deeper and wider than the rootball of the Aster amellus.
    3. Add horticultural grit to the bottom of the hole.
    4. Place the Aster amellus in the hole with the top of the rootball just beneath the soil surface.
    5. Backfill the soil and gently firm it to ensure good root contact.
    6. Add Miracle-Gro All Purpose Continuous Release pellets, avoiding stems, and fork in gently.
    7. Water the newly planted Aster thoroughly.
    8. Apply SlugClear™ Slug & Snail Barrier to protect young plants.
    9. Water well until established.

    Caring and nurturing your Asters

    • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially for potted Asters.
    • Fertilizing: Use continuous-release feed during planting in spring.
    • Deadheading: Remove dead flowerheads in September and October to promote more blooms until the first frosts.
    • Dividing: Divide every 3-4 years for better air circulation and to propagate more plants.
    • Overwintering: Cut stems to ground level after flowering in late autumn or mid-spring, then mulch if the soil is moist.
    • Light conditions: Provide plenty of sunlight, although partial sun is acceptable.
    • Temperature and humidity: Asters prefer summer heat but dislike high humidity, which can lead to mildew issues.

    When do Asters flower?

    Aster amellus blooms from July to October. Stake stems in spring to prevent damage from wind, and pinch out tips of new shoots in late spring to encourage more flowers. Cut some stems for indoor arrangements, leaving some for garden pollinators.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Asters

    What does 'Aster' mean?
    The term 'Aster' originates from the Greek word for star, reflecting the flower's star-like shape.

    Which month of the year is the Aster the birth flower for?
    Asters are linked with birthdays in September.

    When should I divide my Aster amellus?
    It's best to divide Aster amellus plants in the spring, as they emerge from their dormant phase.

    Common Pests and Diseases with Asters

    Powdery mildew
    Keep an eye out for a powdery coating on the leaves. Refer to our guide for effective treatment methods.

    Be vigilant for rusty brown spots on the foliage, and follow our recommendations for treatment.

    Slugs and snails
    Young plants are particularly vulnerable to these pests. Watch for signs such as nibbled foliage and shiny trails. Utilize SlugClear™ Slug & Snail Barrier and consult our tips for managing this issue.

    Look for clusters of small green or grey insects, which may leave a sticky residue on the upper surface of leaves. Apply BugClear™ Ultra 2 and review our suggestions for addressing aphid infestations.

    Key features of Asters

    Botanical Name Aster amellus
    Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
    Family Asteraceae
    Light Exposure Full sun to partial shade
    Soil pH Neutral or slightly alkaline
    Flowering Time July to October
    Flower Colour Purple or pink

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