Enjoy The Fragrance Of Flowers

August 19, 2012 – 01:48 pm

Asters are an easy to grow perennial that grows well in average soils, but needs full sun. Asters come in blues, purples and a variety of pinks. All Asters are yellow in the center of the flower. They are daisy-like in appearance, even though they are a member of the sunflower family.

Did you know? The yellow center of Asters is actually comprised of many tiny flowerets.

Asters come in a wide variety, with some less than a foot tall, while others are two feet tall or more. Both large and smaller varieties make good cut flowers for vases and arrangements.

Propagation:

Asters are easily grown from division. Aster plants do best if divided every two to three years. Simply dig out half to two thirds of the plants, leaving the remainder in place. Then separate the portion you dug out into two sections and plant in another location or give them to a friend.

Aster seeds can also be directly seeded into your flower garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later. We recommend planting Asters in pots and containers indoors, then transplanting the seedlings outdoors in early spring. This allows you to make the proper spacing.

Sow Aster seeds early in the season, and cover lightly with soil. Water thoroughly once. They germinate easily and will grow quickly, producing their first of a continual display of blooms by mid-summer.

Transplant Asters into your garden into an area where they can be grown for years. Spacing depends upon size with miniature varieties spaced four to six inches apart, and Giant varieties one to two feet apart. Place smaller varieties around the front of your flower garden as a border. Put larger varieties towards the back of the flowerbed.

How to Grow Asters:

Aster plants will grow well in average soils. But, like all plants, they will reward your with bigger blooms and a healthier plant if you add plenty of compost. Also, add a general purpose fertilizer once a month.

Once your Aster are established, they should grow well for years. Soil should be moist, but not wet. They will withstand dry periods. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week to keep growth vibrant.

Add mulch around the plants for appearance and to keep weeds down.

Around mid to late summer, your plants will begin to produce flowers and will continue to do so until frost. You do not need to remove dead flower blooms, except to improve plant appearance. For giant varieties, trim back any stalks that have become gangly in appearance.

Source: growflower-diangshen.blogspot.com


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Whiteflower Farms

Instead of bothering trying to chill and start your seeds indoors, suggest you might Google up the site for White Flower Farms. They sell wildflower seed by the ounce or pound, it's not terribly expensive and it's ready to go into raked and prepared soil. They have several butterfly mixes.
Also, if you're only thinking of putting in a few plants, I suggest plain ol' regular ol' pink coneflowers (Echinacea) which are commonly available at nurseries. Also, if you can find it for sale somewhere, the ultimate Monarch magnet (in my opinion) is Boltonia asteroides. This is a 4-6 foot tall, late-blooming fall flowering aster which, when I grew it in New England, would be...



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