Aster meaning ‘star’ in Latin, prefer well-drained, fertile soil in full sun. Mulch in late autumn. If they are getting too congested, dig up and divide in the spring, which will encourage better flowering the following year.
Asters can be prone to mildew and slugs love to dine on the shoots just below the soil surface.
Aster novae-angliae is a mildew resistant variety that flowers from August through to October and they are good choice for cut flower arrangements.
Aster novi-belgii – the real Michaelmas daisy. They have great flower colours but can suffer from verticillium wilt.
Cultivars and varieties:
Aster 'Giant Princess Azure Blue'
Aster 'Giants of California' - Attract beneficial insects
Aster 'Lady in Blue'
Aster 'Single Giant'
Aster cordifolius 'Little Carlow' - prefers partial shade, bushy 3ft (90cm) purply-blue flowers.
Aster ericoides 'Ester' - small pink flowers in October
Aster lateriflorus 'Horizontalis' - Dense bush, small white flowers with pink edges
Aster novae-angliae 'Lou Williams' - 5.5ft (170cm) large flowers
Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome' - 18in (45cm)
Aster novi-belgii 'Ada Ballard'
Aster novi-belgii 'Carnival' (Semi-double) - Great for a late show of flowers. red, semi-double
Aster novi-belgii 'Crimson Brocade'
Aster novi-belgii 'Eventide'
Aster novi-belgii 'Fellowship' - Great for a late show of flowers, Pale pink
Aster novi-belgii 'Lady Frances' - The flowers are shades of pale pink
Aster novi-belgii 'Marie Ballard' (Double) - Great for a late show of flowers. Double blue
Aster novi-belgii 'Rose Bonnet'
Aster novi-belgii 'Winston S Churchill'
Seeds to plant now:
Indoor or in a heated greenhouse
Aubretia, Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia
Outside under cover