We have some great learning how to grow asters is a great idea, if you’re after autumn garden colour. It’s also known as Michaelmas daisies, are essential autumn perennials. Asters originate from the daisy family, and it’s botanically name is Asteraceae
WHEN TO PLANT ASTERS
- Plant your asters in the ground in spring or autumn.
- If your soil is particularly heavy it’s best to wait until spring.
- Small plants will establish quicker than large ones.
- Select a sunny place in fertile soil, preferably where the plants won’t dry out in summer.
- When planting in pots, choose a dwarf variety and add a slow release fertiliser to your compost.
- A sprinkling of liquid feed after mid-summer will ensure a good flush of autumn flowers. Be sure to keep them well-watered.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ASTERS
There are two main varieties:
- The traditional Michaelmas daisies
- The New England asters, which usually have larger flower heads.
& One important distinction is that powdery mildew attacks Michaelmas, but is rarely found on New England asters.
HOW TO GROW ASTERS
- Prepare soil well by adding well-rotted compost or other humus, and mixing in some general fertiliser; these asters can be hungry feeders.
- This can be in a sunny spot but plants should also do well when shaded by a fence, although not by overhead tree branches.
- Asters make wonderful cut flowers for your vases.
- Using secateurs or sharp scissors, make a clean cut to the stem.
- Flowers are best cut in the morning or late afternoon when it’s cooler outside.
- Place in fresh water which you change every day and position out of direct sunlight and away from any heat sources or draughts.
HOW TO CARE FOR ASTERS
- Replant young and vigorous shoots from the edge of the clump; discard the old woody growth in the centre. Support higher varieties – particularly when grown on rich soil – by using canes and twine, steel plant supports, or brushwood if you can get it.
- Keep a watchful eye out for mildew and mites.
- Help prevent mildew by ensuring the roots stay moist and divide regularly, so stems don’t become crowded.
- Some varieties should be deadheaded if you want to prevent self-seeding.