Late in the season as summer has taken its
toll on the garden, Asters explode with hundreds of colorful daisy-like flowers. Flowering
begins in mid August and continues through the frosty nights of October. As the weather
cools the colors intensify providing a beautiful finish for the perennial garden.
Asters vary widely in height, ranging from 6 inches to 6 feet. Our offerings are
limited to the shorter varieties of the dumosus and novi-belgii families. These selections
are compact and form a cushion-like mound of densely packed foliage that does not require
staking. Plant Asters in full shade for the best results. Plants grown in shade will
not be as compact and flowering will be less prolific. Soil should be consistently moist
but drain well, and heavily amended with organic matter. Some of the taller varieties need
to be pruned back in mid-summer to about 6 inches to keep the plants stocky and healthy.
The more compact forms that we offer do not need to pruned to control height. Remove
spent flowers to keep your asters looking neat and tidy. After flowering has finished the
Plants will die back to the ground and should not need to be cut back. Feed in early
spring with well rotted manure and then again in 6 weeks with a top dressing of blood and
bone meals. Asters are very strong growers and need to be divided every two years. Lift
plants in late winter or very early spring to divide.
Zones: 3 - 8
Propagation: division and stem cuttings
Problems: powdery mildew / see notes
Cutting: very nice cut to bring indoors for fall decorating
Notes: Dust plants with sulfur as humidity increases and re-apply
as needed. Try to avoid letting the plants become stressed due to lack of adequate soil
moisture as stress increases the vunerability to powdery mildew.