Friday, September 20, 2019

Mysterious Asters

Asters are a little mysterious to me.  Of the perennial type, I have only had ONE client who grew them here in SoCal.  The magenta pink one I have used to bloom in May.  Now it only blooms in September.  I think actually that they all are supposed to bloom around now.  They are also called Michaelmas Daisies, a christian festival named after the Feast of Saint Michael and all angels which falls on Sept 29.  Some of them get tall; to maybe 5' and some stay short; only 8".   So it is good to know which kind you have as to where to plant them.  The lavender one below I got at Home Depot a couple years ago. It usually blooms to 2' tall.  I split it when I got it and planted it on two different places.  One of them gets 2' and this one got to almost 4 '! That's up to my hip! 

Research tells that Asters are native to North America and Eurasia. Like Mums and Shasta Daisies they are a perennial plant that get's cut down to almost nothing after bloom.  And they come back! Cut off the flower stems after blooming and you'll see new leaves coming out of the ground. They like full sun as most daisies do.  

I have very few names for my Asters.  Either I got it from someone or the tag has gone missing.    

They look great up close. 

But they can look messy from far away.  
Below is the 4' tall one right on the edge of the flowerbed.  I might have to move it. But that's what's great about Asters, that you can dig them up and transplant them.  Wait until after flowering so you don't miss out on color.  Cut down all the spent flower stems.  Trust me, you'll want to because they turn brownish.  Then dig up the plant. You can cut it right though the soil and make more.  Just be sure all the pieces have roots.  And plant right away in their new homes.  

Below is Black Prince that I got at The Huntington Library & Gardens plant sale.   It has very dark foliage. I am a sucker for colored leaves.  

Aster Black Prince up close with it's tiny flowers
 The bees were all over the flowers.  
Aster Black Prince from away
 I got this little Aster at Roger's Gardens hoping it would stay small.   It did and got swallowed up by other plant.  I moved it back in June and it didn't skip a beat. 
Aster Pink Chiffon

A white that I got from a client. 

This magenta one I split into 3 plants. Here's one next to a Dusty Miller. 
It's a great color! 

Here they are cut
They make great cut flowers and look so cute in my little vintage medicine bottles.  
 I also have one in the backyard that I got from my friend Steve G. It isn't blooming yet. It must be waiting until Sept 29!  See, mysterious!  Do you grow Asters? I love to read your comments. Tell me what kinds you grow and if you like them, love them or not.  

Happy Gardening!  
And Happy Almost Autumn.  The internet says the first day is Monday 9/23.