aster

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It is quite hard to rip a beautiful flower plant from the ground.  I sometimes wonder if I am doing the world a disservice.  Not only because of their aesthetic appeal, but also because of the benefits that they offer to our insect friends.  Nonetheless, sometimes it has to be done.  At least I was able to enjoy some of the beauty offered by these garden gems before I ripped them out of existence!

Unfortunately, I did not do my research before the demolition.  Now I know that some of these plants could have simply been moved…my bad!

Now I know…

 

 

 

 

The name Aster means star in Latin and is a perfect description of these colorful beauties.  The flowers are also sometimes refered to as Michaelmas daisies.  Aster plants are perennial and require a thin layer of compost each year in order to ensure they receive enough nutrients.  The plants should be planted 30.5 – 93 cm apart in loose soil.  When planting, the roots should be at soil level. P1010859They bloom long into the fall months and can range from 20 cm to 2.44 meters in height – depending on the variety of which there are more than 180.  The taller varieties can serve as very attractive borer elements that encourage visits from butterflies and bees.  Taller varieties will also need to be staked in order to keep them upright.  When shorter stems are pinched back, the plant will become bushier.  Unfortunately, the plants are susceptible to powdery mildew and rust diseases.  Asters prefer cool, moist climates, but will thrive in most environments as long as they receive enough sun and adequate water.  After the first frost, plant stems should be cut back to 2.5 – 5 cm to encourage growth the following year.  Plants should be divided every 3 – 4 years in the spring.

Aster Plants

 

 

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