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September 2010
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Tricolor Aster: Aster Amellus – a perennial

This is a perennial, an older variety and its common name is Aster. It is also called King George. It belongs to the family Asteraceae. It can grow up to a height of 45cm and can spread 45cm wide. It is an early, long lasting plant. This plant is a member of Sunflower family. Its flowers bloom from August to October and are violet-purple daisy in color. The flowers also come in pinks and blues. The flower is yellow in the centre and again the yellow centre has many tiny flowerets. It is compact and so need to support it. This plant needs Full sun to Partial Shade to grow. It needs Well-drained soil. The soil should be clay and alkaline.
Aster is food for many larvae for Lepidoptera species. This flower is a magnet to bees and butterflies. This variety of Aster has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of garden Merit. This genus has species more than 600 in Eurasia and North America. The name “Aster” means “star” in Ancient Greek, because its flower head is shaped like a star. Aster can grow in all zones of hardiness. They are used as cut flowers and used for flower arrangements. It can be used in borders and rock garden and as flower beds. The species are classified as the genera Almutaster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus and Symphyotrichum.

Growing Conditions of Aster

• Full sun, Partial shade
• This grows in Hardy zones.
• Sow the seeds of Aster in September to May.
• Once the seedlings sprout, transplant them.
• Divide the plants in March to May.
• The blooming period is from August to October
• These plants are grown from division every two to three years.
• Dig the soil to 2/3rds of the plant and plant them.
• For directly sowing the seeds, sow them either indoors in pots or outdoors.
• Sow the seed and lightly cover with soil.
• Transplanting should be done in early spring.
• Spacing should be around 4-6inches.
• If the variety is big enough, the spacing can be around 1-2feet.
• By mid-summer, the blooming starts.

Caring for Aster

• This plant need full sun or partial shade.
• This grows in Hardy zones.
• This needs Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, dry soils.
• Asters are resistant to insects and disease.
• Treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.
• Avoid insect or disease problems occur.

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