Aster, Fireworks Mixed Colors
Starry, colorful blooms are great for cuttings, edgings and pots.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.
Beds, Cut Flowers
Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.
Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.
Sowing Directly in the Garden:
- Sow in average garden soil in a sunny area after danger of heavy frost. In the deep South, Gulf and Pacific Coast areas, sow from fall to early spring.
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic, well-drained soil.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-8, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
- The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
- Sow in rows 15-18 inches apart.
- Sow seeds evenly and cover with 1/4 inches of fine soil.
- Firm the soil lightly and keep it evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 14-21 days.
- Thin to at least 18 inches apart when seedlings have three sets of leaves. Up to 36 inches for tall varieties.
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep soil evenly moist but not wet.
- Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
- “Deadhead”, remove spent flower heads to encourage continuous flowering and prevent seed development.
- Plants need good air circulation to avoid powdery mildew.
- Asters are sensitive to the length of the day. They will not bloom until last summer until frost.
- Annual asters, also called China Asters, make great cut flowers. Cut when blooms are 2/3 open.
- Use in beds and borders, they work in containers too, although keep in mind they will not bloom until late in the season.