The Aster they are a very, very broad genus of herbs. 2338 species have been described, and although only 214 have been accepted, that number is high enough for all of us to have the chance to enjoy at least one specimen in our lifetime.
In addition, live in temperate regions around the worldwhich makes it easy to adapt to different conditions.
Origin and characteristics
Asters are perennial or annual herbs, rarely shrubs, subshrubs, or climbers, that develop multiple stems. With alternate and greenish leaves, produce white, lilac, or pink flowers in chapters, and are solitary and terminal or corymbose. These usually sprout in the spring, but they can also sprout in the fall if the conditions are right. The fruit is a fusiform achene.
Its growth rate is quite fast depending on the species, being able to reach 30cm in just a few months.
The most popular species are:
- alpine star: known as alpine asters. it is a perennial plant native to the mid-altitudes of the Alps. It grows between 25 and 35cm tall, and produces violet-blue flowers in summer.
- Pyrenean star: known as the star of the Pyrenees, endemic to the French side of the Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa. It is perennial and reaches a height of between 40 and 60cm, with violet-blue flowers in summer.
- scaly star: known as green palico, matacavero, romperdallas or lollipop, it is a herbaceous plant native to South America that reaches a height of 2m. Produces white flowers in summer.
- aster tripolium: now known by the scientific name Tripolium pannonicum subsp. tripolium is a short-lived annual or perennial plant native to northern Europe that grows between 20 and 60cm tall. It blooms for a good part of the year, until after the summer, and its flowers are blue or white.
What are their cares?
If you want to have a copy, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:
The Asters must be abroadeither in full sun or in an area where they receive a minimum of 3 hours of direct light.
The more shade they have, the poorer their growth will be and the fewer flowers they will produce.
As they are relatively small plants, they can be grown both in pots and in the garden, so that the soil will be somewhat different depending on where they are kept:
- the garden: it must be fertile, with very good drainage. Ideally, the pH is somewhat acidic, between 5 and 6, but they do not have problems with clay as long as they absorb water quickly.
- Flower pot: I advise to put a first layer of pumice, akadama or similar and then fill with universal cultivation substrate mixed with 30% perlite.
The frequency of watering these plants will vary greatly throughout the year. Must take into account they do not withstand drought, but giving them more water than they need has a high chance of losing it. And it is that, it is often thought that the more water you pour on them, the better it will be, but the truth is that if they have too much of their roots they will literally drown.
So to avoid this, in addition to using a good substrate or planting them in suitable soils, it is very important to water when necessary, neither more nor less. And for it It is highly advisable to check the humidity of the soil before watering themeither by inserting a thin wooden stick or a digital moisture meter.
If we have them in a pot, what we can do is weigh it once watered and again after a few days, because dry soil weighs less than wet and this difference in weight will be of great help to know when to water.
From early spring to late summer, with Organic fertilizers. In case of having them in a container, use liquid or granulated fertilizers, following the indications specified on the product packaging.
The Asters multiply by seeds the vast majority of the time, or by division in spring. Let’s see how to proceed in each case:
- The first thing to do is fill a seedling tray (like this) with universal growing substrate.
- Then, it is watered consciously.
- Afterwards, a maximum of two seeds are placed in each alveolus and covered with vermiculite (for sale here!).
- Finally, it is watered again, this time with a sprayer, and the seedling tray is placed outside, in full sun.
Thus they will germinate in 14-20 days.
To divide the plants, they must be removed from the ground or pot, and with a serrated knife previously disinfected with alcohol, divide the root ball / soil bread. Then it will only be left to plant each piece in different areas of the garden or containers.
Planting or transplanting time
In spring. If kept in a container, transplant every two or three years.
It depends on the species. There are some that do not resist cold at all and are annual, but there are others like A. alpinus that do endure frosts down to -18ºC.
What did you think of the Asters?