Aster – How To Grow This Gardening Favorite

Adding aster to your garden promises continued floral enjoyment long after most blooming plants have called it a season.

Aster growers sing the praises of this breathtaking beauty for its garden design versatility along with the aster’s unprecedented staying power. Aside from it’s gardening brilliance, asters are most likely to bloom long after most flowering plants have gone dormant. Aster flowers promise lustrous life well into the Fall growing season.

Asters

With blooms in white, lavender, red, pink and blue, asters are a daisy-like flower that work well in almost any gardening project. Local gardener supply stores offer a vast variety of asters ranging in size and color, making them useful for borders, formal beds, the central flowering focus, and almost any other gardening choice.

Aside from it’s beautiful flowers, asters are extremely proficient when it comes to attracting desirable gardening fauna. Bees and butterflies flock to this late season nectar supply, and birds continue to enjoy the aster’s seeds well into winter.

Gardener Supply Suggests Popular Aster Flowers

The toughest thing about growing asters may well be ciphering through the many varieties and choosing the flowers appropriate for your gardening zone. Over the years gardening experts have weeded through the many aster choices and narrowed the list down to the following favorites:

New England Asters

  • New England asters (Aster novae-angliae) This, the most recognizable of all the asters, blooms brilliantly in many colors, offers gardeners a hardy plant with long, strong stems that make them great for cutting. New England asters boast a cheery yellow center and grow on fleshy green plants reaching 2-6 feet in height.
  • New York asters (Aster novi-belgii) Also known as Michaelmas daisies these asters are similar to their New England brethren in all respects and this species also includes a flowering plant that produces a semi-double bloom, called ‘Professor Anton Kippenberg’s Aster.
  • Bushy asters (Aster dumosus) This compact mounding type aster is popular because of its resistance to parasites and disease. Bushy asters also include many dwarf varieties. These plants grow to 12-18 inches tall and will spread 18-24 inches wide.
  • Heath asters (Aster ericoides) This delicate flower gained popularity for their profuse sprays of tiny white, pink and purple flowers. This aster plant will grow up to 3 feet in height and this variety includes the ‘Snowdrift’ flowers that make wonderful ground cover.

How to Grow Asters

wild asters

Aster plants grow best in gardening zones 4-8/9 and prefer to be planted in full sun. When planting asters remember their preference for air flow and and space them at least 18-24 inches apart. Asters require only minimal fertilization, but need to be in continuously aerated soil. Most gardening enthusiasts agree, dividing asters every three or four years is very beneficial to flower production.

Asters and Gardening Versatility

There’s an aster for every garden design. Lofty New England and Heath asters work well as cottage garden flowers as well as prairie plantings. The stouter New York variety are often chosen for their bushy effect in garden borders and walkways. New York asters are also a favorite focal addition for an end-of-the season flower garden.

Always pinch back and sheer asters’ new growth for sturdier plants that will withstand heavy winds and rain. In colder regions be sure and use protection for your aster plants. Once the ground has frozen, cover them with mulch, straw, newspaper or evergreens.

Gardener supply stores often offer other late bloomers that mix wonderfully with asters. Other fall blooming plants include sedum, trutle head, goldenrod, boltonia and helianthus. These colorful beauties, along with your impressive collection of asters, will give you a Fall season flower garden that will be the envy of gardeners everywhere.

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About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...

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