How To Grow Asters

There are bright daisy-like flowers in late summer and autumn.The growing requirements for all varieties of this popular perennial plant are the same.

Step 1: The seeds need to be prepared in the winter.

You should sow seeds indoors one to two months before your transplant date.Don’t expect all of the seeds you sow to grow, as seed germination tends to be fairly even.Many gardeners prefer to buy seeds from a garden nursery or use plants that have already been established.

Step 2: Small containers are filled with seed starting medium.

A seed starting soil blend is needed to fill the compartments of a large plastic seedling tray.If you don’t have a tray, you can use plastic cups, pots, or other small containers.The containers should be at least 3 to 4 inches deep.

Step 3: Put the seeds in a container.

Each compartment has one seed.The seed needs to be pushed into the soil until it is about 1 inch deep.After setting the seed into a compartment, brush the soil over the hole.

Step 4: You can store it in the refrigerator.

Put the tray in the fridge and cover it with plastic.For four to six weeks, keep it there.The chilling process seeds would undergo in nature is mimicked by artificially chilling them.The seeds will not freeze and die if you use a refrigerator instead of the cold ground.

Step 5: Transfer to a sunny area.

The last expected frost is two to four weeks away.The tray should be placed in a sunny spot.The spot should get at least six hours of sunlight a day.You have to wait until the seedlings form before you can move outside.This will happen quickly.

Step 6: Wait until spring.

After the threat of frost has passed, transplant aster seedlings outdoors.This is true regardless of whether you are working with plants that have already been established or new plants.

Step 7: There is a sunny spot with well-drained soil.

There are sites that receive full sun to partial shade.The soil must be able to drain well if it is rich or average.The asters tend to drain poorly in heavy clay soils.It is not necessary to plant asters at the top of a hill to improve soil drainage.

Step 8: The soil needs to be changed.

If the soil is rich, you should mix a little compost into it.To loosen the top of the soil at the planting site, use a garden fork or tiller.Add 2 to 4 inches of compost.Use the garden fork to mix the compost.

Step 9: There are deep holes for each aster plant.

The diameter of the pot currently holding the aster plant should be doubled as each hole is twice as wide.The hole should be the same depth as the container.Plants can be 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) apart.Miniature varieties can be divided into 4 to 6 inches by 10 to 15 cm.

Step 10: The seedling needs to be removed.

Press on the sides of the plastic compartment.Slowly work your way up from the bottom.The seedling, root ball, and soil should leave the compartment.If you can’t remove the seedling, make sure the soil is wet.It is easier to move wet soil.If you can’t remove the seedling by pressing on the sides of the container, tip it on its side and use a trowel.You need to wiggle the trowel around inside the pot to get the root ball and soil out.

Step 11: The planting hole has a seedling in it.

Place each aster plant in the center of its planting hole so that the root ball is even with the surface of the soil around it.Carefully fill in the rest of the hole around the root ball with the soil you removed from the planting site.To pat the soil firmly in place, use your hands.

Step 12: There is water in the well.

To encourage the plants to establish themselves, you should water the soil thoroughly as soon as the seedlings are in the ground.There should be no major puddles on the surface of the soil.

Step 13: The area should be covered with mulch.

Every spring, surround the asters with 2 inches of mulch.Remove old mulch before adding new mulch.In the summer the soil is warm and in the winter it is cool.It helps to prevent weed growth.

Step 14: There is water as needed.

During the growing season, you should monitor the amount of rain.You should soak the soil of the planting site if you get less than 1 inch of rain in a week.If there is too much or too little moisture, asters will become weakened.Plants that don’t get enough water will lose their leaves and flowers.Plants that get too much water can start to yellow.

Step 15: The soil should be enriched with an appropriatefertilizer.

Before new growth starts to form, you should mix a thin layer of compost into the soil.If you want to get even better results, mix a balanced, general purposefertilizer into the soil once a month.The package label directs you to apply thefertilizer.

Step 16: Twice a year.

Light and heavyPruning will be required in the spring and fall.In the spring, pinch young shoots.It will create a bushier plant.Once the foliage dies in the winter, cut the entire plant back.Cut down stem portions that appear sickly or scraggly, or trim the stems back completely to 1 or 2 inches above the soil line.There are a lot of aster varieties that can handle either option.Cutting the plant down will delay flowering by a few weeks.If you live in a cold climate, you may want to wait until the spring to do majorPruning.Over harsh winters, leaving the plants intact can improve their odds of survival.It is not necessary to remove dead flower blooms on an ongoing basis to improve the appearance of the plant.New buds tend to be located nearby if you deadhead old blooms.

Step 17: They have tall varieties.

If you have a larger variety that begins to droop, install a stake and train the foliage upright.The stake should be at least 30 cm taller than the plant’s current height.The main stem of the plant should be at least 2 to 3 inches away from the stake.Use wool yarn or nylon stockings to tie the branches of the plant.

Step 18: The plants are divided every two to four years.

Dividing the plant will allow it to distribute its resources more effectively.The plant will remain vigorous and the flowers will be plentiful.Divide plants before the spring.Carefully dig out half of the plant.The rest should be left in its current location.You can divide it into two or more sections.You should divide the clump into three to five shoots.A friend’s garden or another area of your garden can be planted with these divided portions.The portions that were divided should be treated as new seedlings.

Step 19: There are pests and disease.

Some varieties of aster can be affected by pests and diseases, such as powdery mildew, rusts, white smut, leaf spots, and stem cankers.Prevention is better than treatment.Choose disease-resistant aster varieties for your garden.If there are problems, treat them with a pesticide or fungicide.