When I see an Aster in bloom, I know that summer is coming to an end and fall is around the corner.
Asters remind me of warm sunny days, delicate flowers and softness, among the changing climate of fall.
I love the delicate daisy-like petals and soft pollen centres of perennial Asters.
Asters belong to the Asteraceae or Daisy family. They are a relative of Dahlias, Coneflowers (Echinacea), Sunflowers, Shasta Daisies and Zinnias. (No wonder I love them as much as I do! These are some of my favourite summer-time flowers.) They make a great cut flower and beautiful bouquet.
Aster flowers are made up of ray and disk florets. The rays are the “petals” which emerge from the central disk. These petals attract pollinators and birds and come in various shades of pink, red, lavender, blue, violet, purple and white. The central disk is made of a tightly packed tiny florets. These disks may be yellow, orange, brownish, purple or even white.
Asters grow best in zone 3 to 9, in full sun and prefer a moist, well-drained soil. In order to produce the best flower show, it is recommended to pinch back the tips of the plant until no later than July 4 and to plant in a location with full morning sun.
In general, plants will grow to a height of 12-24 inches and will form a bushy clump. Asters may be divided every 2 to 3 years. Flowers do not require dead-heading and the plant will bloom until frost.
Insects/predators: Has few insects and diseases and is resistant to deer and rabbits.
Consider planting perennial Asters in fall containers for added colour, then replant them into your garden beds before frost.
Are you growing perennial Asters? Do you have a favourite colour? Let me know in the comments.