How to Successfully Grow and Care for Aster Flowers
Extend the season of a colorful garden and landscape with the aster flowering plants, these garden beauties will bloom from late summer through fall helping you to keep your garden filled with colors as the winter months approaches.
What I love about asters is the many varieties and species which are available, aster will not only fill your garden with colorful blooms but is also a food source for wildlife such as bees, butterflies, and provides a home for small animals and birds during the winter months. Plants such as the white wood variety should be sown outdoors in late fall or early winter.
Install your asters in an area that gets partial to full sunlight, areas which are too heavily shaded will cause your asters to become leggy.
Asters will thrive in soil with the incorporation of compost, the soil ph should be anywhere from 5.8-6.5. The use of compost will help the soil with drainage because asters hate wet feet.
When watering your asters the soil should be somewhat moist. Too much water or soggy soil will lead to root rot.
Garden insect pests of the aster flowers
Garden insect pests to keep an eye out for are.
- Spider mites
To manage these insect pests keep the garden area clean and free of debris and weeds. Applying a pesticide if needed will also bring insects under control. Before applying pesticides read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.
Diseases of the aster flowers
Keep a watch for these diseases.
- Root Rot
- Stem Rot
- Botrytis Blight
- Powdery mildew
Root rot occurs either when plants are overwatered or the soil drains poorly. Giving your aster the right amount of water is so important along with planting asters in soil that has good drainage.
This disease which is encouraged by a fungus starts from the germination process. The seeds which are damp in the soil develop this fungus, though the plant reaches maturity it will not put forth blossom and will eventually die. As discussed earlier asters love well-drained soil along with avoiding overwatering.
Pruning aster flowers
To get more out of your asters as far as bloom and more foliage is concerned pruning will do the job for you. Before pruning your aster ensure that your hand pruner is sharp and in good repair. Your pruner should also be free of disease.
If your pruner was used on a procedure that involved a plant or plants that were diseased wash your pruner thoroughly with soap and water and then disinfect the blades with rubbing alcohol or bleach and water. Wipe the blade dry with a clean piece of cloth and you’re ready to cut back your aster.
Before the pruning operation water your aster the day before. Asters should be pruned several times throughout the growing season from spring until midsummer. Pruning operation should include the removal of disease, damage, or overgrown wood. Removing the new growth by pinching will give you a fuller plant. To encourage growth in the side buds removal of the largest flower bud from the tip of each stem will help greatly.
The removal of half of the plant by midsummer will encourage flower bloom with a fuller or bushy plant. Cut about a quarter-inch above a pair of leaves. During late autumn cut back your asters, removing the stems two inches above the soil level.
Botrytis blight will kill the flower bloom of your aster plant, this disease is brought on by plants that are wet therefore it is important to water your aster from the ground or soil level to avoid water from getting on plant parts. It is also good to water your aster during the morning hours to allow the plant to dry if water gets on the leaves and stems.
Powdery mildew is influenced by poor air circulation, too much shade, and damp conditions. This disease shows up as a white powdery substance that forms on the leaves and stems of garden plants. To keep your aster from developing this disease give a proper spacing of garden plants for proper air circulation, avoid the leaves and the stems from getting wet, water asters in the morning giving sufficient time for the plant to dry if plant parts are wet before nightfall.
The removal of disease plant parts, annual pruning by thining will also help which encourages proper air circulation. The use of a fungicide labeled for powdery mildew will give good results. Before using fungicide read and follow the manufacture’s label for best results.
Ideas where to install asters
Here are just a few places to install asters.
1. Install asters in containers and place the containers on either side of your door entrance which is so inviting.
2. Place container-grown asters on your porch or patio
3. Grow asters around the trunks of trees providing sufficient light can get to them.
4. Install asters in your garden plant bed.
5. Grow asters alongside your wall or fence.
6. Grown asters around your pond area.
7. Make space for your aster around your pool.
8. Grow asters along your garden path walkway.
9. Plant asters alongside the foundation of your house.
Growing asters in containers
A great way to grow and care for asters is with the help of containers, the container should be large enough to accommodate your aster. The soil should be a soil that will hold the right amount of moisture but will allow excess water to drain. Mixing compost with good garden soil will help your aster to grow healthy.
Ensure that the container has drain holes to allow water to drain. Water and fertilizer asters as stated above and also treat for diseases and garden insect pests as discussed.
Growing asters from hanging baskets
Garden above the ground and utilize that space by adding colors with these garden beauties. When installing asters from hanging baskets follow the same steps as installing and growing asters from containers.
Some aster varieties
1. Fellowship Asters.
2. Barr’s Pink.
3. New England Easter.
4. White Lady.
5. Lyle End Beauty.
6. Bonningale White.
7. New York.
8. Aromatic Aster.
9. Purple Cloud.
10. September Ruby.
The final word
The use of asters in your garden and landscape will help to extend the season by giving you colors even during the winter months. These flowers can brighten up and give that wow while providing both food and a home of wildlife. Asters make a great choice as you connect with nature by giving a helping hand.