Perennial asters are named as the Dutch nursery industry’s plant of the Month for September. They are amongst the most spectacular of the autumn-blooming perennials, are easy to grow and do well in average soils. While most need full sun; others will do well in partial shade or even full shade. Asters are available in blues, purples, a variety of pinks, as well as white. All asters are yellow in the centre of the flower and have a daisy-like in appearance. They are available in a wide variety of sizes and growth habits, with some less than 30cm (12in) tall while others are 60cm (24in) or more. All are suitable for cutting.
Asters are easily grown from division. Plants do best if divided every two to three years. Simply dig out half to two thirds of the plants, leaving the remainder in place. Then separate the portion you removed into two sections and plant in another location. Once asters are established, they should grow well for years. The soil should be moist, but not wet. They will withstand dry periods. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week to keep growth vibrant. Add mulch around the plants to help conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
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