Aster meaning ‘star’ in Latin, prefer well-drained, fertile soil in full sun. Mulch in late autumn. Dig up and divide in the spring, if they are getting too congested. This 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, good for cut flower arrangement.
Aster novi-belgii – the real Michaelmas daisy, they have great flower colours but can suffer from verticillium wilt.
Cultivars and varieties:
Aster 'Ada Ballard'
Aster 'Crimson Brocade'
Aster 'Giant Princess Azure Blue'
Aster 'Giants of California' - Attract beneficial insects
Aster 'Lady Frances'
Aster 'Lady in Blue'
Aster 'Rose Bonnet'
Aster 'Single Giant'
Aster 'Winston S Churchill'
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 'Carnival' (Semi-double) - Great for a late show of flowers. red, semi-double
Aster novi-belgii 'Fellowship' - Great for a late show of flowers, Pale pink
Aster novi-belgii 'Marie Ballard' (Double) - Great for a late show of flowers. Double blue
Seeds to plant now:
Indoor or in a heated greenhouse
Aubretia, Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia
Basil, Sweet basil, Common basil
Beet, Beetroot, Chard
Beetroot, Garden beet
French bean, fine bean
Italian beetroot, Beetroot, Garden beet
Ornamental winter kale
Spinach, Summer spinach
Swiss chard, Ruby chard, Rhubard chard
Outside under cover