I love asters for the cheerful notes they add to my garden in summer. Generally they’re low maintenance plants and it’s easy to grow asters from seed. There are about 180 species (Asteraceae), which make for a great variety of colors. They resemble daisies with their star-shaped heads and they attract butterflies.
Asters bloom in summer and fall, and some varieties are compact, while others can grow as tall as 8 feet and will require staking. If you want to keep the plants on the compact side, prune or pinch them back in midsummer.
Getting the right moisture level is the key with them; too little or too much water and they may not flower properly. So just keep an eye on them to spot any issues early on, especially when they’re young.
When you grow asters outside or in containers, be sure to give them 1-2 inches of mulch to prevent the soil from drying out too much.
Also, try to water them at ground level. They’re susceptible to powdery mildew and fungal diseases, and keeping the leaves dry is a good preventative measure. The mildew won’t kill the flowers, but it won’t look pretty. The main culprit you may battle is gray lace bugs, which like to feed on the succulent stems.
Asters fit in well in borders, wildflower gardens, rock gardens, dry zones, and around water features like ponds.
How to Grow Asters – Plant Facts
TYPE: Perennial, Annual, Biennial, Subshrub
LIGHT REQUIRED: Full sun to partial shade
HEIGHT: 1 to 8 feet
SPREAD (WIDTH): 1 to 4 feet
FLOWER COLOR: Pink, White, Blue, Purple, Lavender
- Blooms in fall and spring
- Sprinkle seeds directly outdoors
- Drought tolerant
- Attracts birds
- Low maintenance
- Great for containers
- Great for cutting
- Many attract butterflies
HOW TO PROPAGATE:
- Leaf cuttings
Mums, especially fall-blooming varieties