Hardy Asters are a very popular flower for late summer and autumn. When they bloom, they look similar to daisies, and people often like to use them as flowers in bouquets. However, these flowers are not ideal for cutting gardens. Asters come in many different colors, but are typically found in shades of blue or lavender. Hardy Asters, like its fellow autumn perennial the Hardy Mum, can find difficulty surviving winters to regrow in spring, but with proper care, this can be achieved. In this article, we will be looking at the proper way to care for Hardy Asters, as well as what makes these autumn flowers so special!
Asters are such a cherished autumn flower, that many hybrids have been created that give the plant a wide range of colors, heights and other characteristics. They are classified as perennials, and in the right conditions can survive winters depending on how harsh the climate is. Typically, Asters can survive in USDA Growing Zones 3-9. Asters should be planted in the spring, like Hardy Mums, to promote root growth throughout the growing season. Plants should be lightly fertilized, avoiding excess nitrogen in the formula as this will cause the growth of excessive foliage. Asters like well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline to acidic. They should be situated in full sun if available, but can also do well in partial shade. Asters should be watered daily in the mornings, but DO NOT water the leaves, as Hardy Asters are very vulnerable to leaf fungus.
Additionally, these flowers should be planted around 3-4 feet apart in order to receive proper air circulation. Asters are prone to mildew, and air circulation can help decrease the chances of your plants getting this mildew. This is also why Asters are not ideal in a cutting garden setting. When you plant a cutting garden, everything should be densely packed to allow many different types of flowers to grow in a small space. For more information on cutting gardens, please see our blog post!
Asters can grow anywhere between six inches to six feet, depending on the cultivar and the growing conditions/climate. They will begin to bloom in late summer/early autumn, but some are known to bloom earlier. Asters are also known for attracting bees and butterflies, often hosting butterfly larvae. They are also deer resistant, but may attract pests like aphids and rabbits. Asters are also self-seeding flowers, meaning that at the end of their growing season, they will drop seeds to help promote growth of more flowers in the spring. If you wish to inhibit this growth, simply cut off the blooms at the end of the blooming season. You may also wish to divide the plants in half every few years to spread them out to promote better air circulation.
Overall, Asters are a very popular plant to have in your Autumn garden. Their bright, colorful daisy-like appearance is very popular in bouquets and their affinity with bees and butterflies makes them great to liven up the garden. They are capable of surviving winters, making them a popular perennial that you can enjoy year after year. And with their ability to self-seed, you can be sure that you can have a booming population of these plants within a few years.
For more information on the care of Hardy Asters or other flowers, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have!