Asters – old fashioned and lovely

Single, 'Super chinensis' aster

Single, ‘Super chinensis’ aster

Autumn means asters to most gardeners and that usually refers to perennial asters – real asters (or they used to be till they were renamed as symphyotrichum). But late summer is also the season of annual asters or, more properly, callistephus – unless those meddling botanists have been at work here too!

As bedding plants they are a bit lacking because they do not bloom till quite late and they have a finite number of buds so you do not get a long display of blooms. But their flowers are lovely and they make excellent and long lived cut flowers.

Apart from ignoring the dwarf ‘bedding types’, it is difficult to chose a favourite though I always love the single ‘super chinensis’ types with their bright, yellow centres.

asters

And of the doubles, I prefer the needle-petalled types that open into large ‘fibre optic’ blooms, such as T&M’s ‘Spider Chrysanthemum Mixed’ or ‘Unicum’.

These asters are grown as half hardy annuals. I sow the seeds in mid to late March in seed trays in gentle heat (20c). The seedlings are transplanted into small cell trays and grown on in the greenhouse and put outside to harden off in early May, making sure they are not frosted. The seedlings are planted out in late May and spacing varies but they need at least 20cm to give them room to grow. They require full sun to bloom well and apart from a soil disease that you may never experience, the only real pest is aphids.

asters2

 

 

 

, , , ,

2 Comments on “Asters – old fashioned and lovely”

  1. joy
    September 6, 2015 at 9:47 am #

    its easy to forget how lovely they are must do something about it next year

  2. Meriel
    September 6, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    Gorgeous

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

One Good Life in Los Angeles

Roslyn's observations about places and events around Southern California

IGPS Blog

The Irish Garden Plant Society - Lovers of Irish plants and gardens

AltroVerde

un altro blog sul giardinaggio...

vegetablurb

four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!

Flowery Prose

Sheryl Normandeau's growing words....

ontheedgegardening

Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I am a freelance Photographer born and raised in the Southeast. I have uprooted my life in Macon Georgia for a new life as an unlikely cowgirl in love with a handsome cowboy in Wyoming. I hope you enjoy my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

The world's leading garden plant conservation charity

HERITAGE IRISES

An English experience of gardening in Ireland - and back in the UK

%d bloggers like this: