Scientific name: Aster
Higher classification: Astereae
Lower classifications: Aster tripolium, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium,Aster alpinus, Aster amellus, Aster tataricus, Aster quitensis, Aster tongolensis, Symphyotrichum lateriflorum
Aster's are a beautiful easy to grow summer bedding plant. With so many different types to choose from and so easy to grow from seed the choice of which one's to grow is difficult. I always try to choose a few different varieties and mix them up so I get a good even spread of plants from the seeds. Basically I will open 3-4 packets of seeds and mix them up. Sow them into a few different trays and when pricking out again just keep them mixed. This way i can have a good mix in the borders and pots around the garden. Always remember to harden off your young plants before bringing them outside to minimize damage from the cold early in the season. Also remember to protect the young plants from slugs and snails as they seem to be a little tasty to the pesky critters.
Although Aster's can take a while to flower and the Pom Pom varieties can be a little top heavy, as seen in the pictures above they are beautiful and make a very effective display throughout the summer. You can also use them for cut flowers. As the stems are growing up cut the side shoots off. This will encourage the main flower to grow providing a long stem. It will however restrict the amount of flowers the plant will have.
Always remember to remove the dead heads throughout the season to keep the flowers coming, You should be able to get a good few months of continuous flowering from Aster's. At the end of the season remove the plants and prepare the ground or empty the pots for preparation for the winter months. Aster's are not hardy so should be removed before the cold weather closes in.
My name is Jonathan and I enjoy working in my garden in my spare time. I am no professional, just an amateur. My second love is photography, shooting the flowers in my garden and of course sharing them with people who share my passions.