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A clump of aster plants with white flowers
Also known as Michaelmas daisy or Easter daisy, aster flowers are mostly herbaceous perennials from the temperate Northern Hemisphere and South America. There are 250 species, many of which are popular garden plants because of their pretty daisy-like flowers, which are held on tall stems.

What you need to know about aster

Name: aster, Michaelmas daisy, Easter daisy, Aster var.

Height: typically 20–80cm, with some varieties growing to 1.2m tall.

Foliage: green linear to lance-shaped leaves.

Climate: southern parts of Australia.

Soil: well-drained soil that is moist in the growing season.

Position: full sun.

Flowering: most flower in late summer or autumn. 

Feeding: yearly feeding in spring with a complete fertiliser and compost.

Watering: twice-weekly watering in summer, and weekly in winter.

Appearance and characteristics of aster flowers

Aster plants have big heads of small to medium-sized daisy flowers in colours of white, mauve, pink and lavender blue, most with petals radiating out from a central yellow disc.

Stems on the taller varieties need staking, as the weight of the flowers can make the flower stem sprawl along the ground.

Aster varieties

  • Aster amellus: varieties include “Violet Queen” and Pink Zenith; grows to 50cm tall, with violet or pink flowers.
  • Aster lateriflorus “Lady in Black”: grows to 80cm with dark leaves and thousands of small white daisies with a crimson centre.
  • Aster x frikartii: lavender blue flower for up to 4 months; some varieties grow up to 70cm, including “Monch” and “Jung Frau”.
  • Aster laevis “Calliope”: grows to 90cm with black stems and lavender blue flowers.
  • Aster divaricatus: black stems growing to 50cm, and massed white starry flowers with a red eye.

A purple aster flower

Uses for aster

Aster plants look fabulous grown in flowering borders, pots and garden beds.

How to grow aster

Aster plants are frost-tolerant. Some species die down in winter in cool climates, but remain as low ground covers in warmer areas.

Aster plants must have a sunny, airy position to stop mildew, which can be a problem in humid conditions.

While aster plants prefer moist, fertile soil, they will tolerate occasional dry periods.

Pruning and propagating aster

How to prune aster

  • Cut flower stems back to the ground after flowering.

How to prune aster

Aster can be divided in winter:

  • Lift and divide plants.
  • Plant cuttings around the garden. 

Diseases and pests affecting aster

The most common disease affecting aster is powdery mildew or Botrytis (grey mould). If this occurs, spray with a fungicide and put all prunings into the bin after the winter cut-back. 

If you like this then try

Salvia “Wendy’s Wish”: tall and wide bush with spikes of magenta flowers for most of the year.

Chrysanthemum: the perfect flowering companion for salvias.

Daffodil: as your mums finish for the year, your daffodils will start to fill the gaps, giving you a wonderful seasonal change.

Start growing today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!

 

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

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