The aster is a beautiful flowering plant that resembles the daisy and produces blooms in various shades of purple, white, pink, red, and blue. It can thrive in zones 3 to 8 and typically blooms in the late summer and fall seasons. Being a late-season bloomer, it provides nectar for bees and butterflies, thus attracting pollinators to your garden.
Asters can grow well in both full and partial sun, but if you reside in a warmer climate, it’s best to keep them away from midday sun as they may not withstand the heat. Cooler climates, on the other hand, require full sun exposure to keep their flowers from flopping. Regardless of the climate, morning sunlight is crucial for optimal bloom growth. Asters prefer cool and moist summers, making these conditions ideal for their growth. When planting aster seeds, ensure the temperature is about 70 degrees.
To keep your asters healthy and thriving, it’s important to ensure they receive adequate watering. Typically, they require around 1 inch of rain per week during the summer months. However, it’s worth noting that some varieties of asters are quite sensitive to water. Over or under-watering can result in fewer flowers or even the death of the lower foliage. If you notice a significant reduction in blooms, try adjusting the amount of water you give your plant. Additionally, when planting asters, it’s best to give them plenty of water initially to encourage root growth.
For optimal growth of asters, loamy soil is preferred. It’s recommended to add a balanced fertilizer or compost layer to the soil during spring. Once the soil has been enriched, a 2″ thick layer of mulch around the plant can aid growth and maintain a cooler soil temperature. Mulching also helps prevent weed growth. It’s crucial to ensure the soil is well-drained, and if planting in an area that doesn’t have fast drainage, adding gravel allows water to flow through the soil.
To ensure your aster plant blooms continuously, remove the wilted flowers through deadheading. Otherwise, the plant may start to self-seed and stop blooming altogether. On the other hand, pruning is not mandatory but can help maintain the desired size of the plant and prevent the need for staking if it grows too large. Additionally, thinning out the plant can reduce the risk of mildew. To do this, snip off one-third of the stems at their base during spring or remove the first few leaves on the stems in late summer. Following these practices will lead to a more abundant flower yield from your aster plant.