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The Wild Aster, Aster Amellus May Not Be As Showy As Hybrid Cultivars, But It Is An Ecologically-Healthy Choice In Native Gardens
The wild aster belongs to a genus of perennial flowering plants in the Asteraceae family. Despite its narrowed circumscription, it encompasses about a hundred and eighty species, all but one of which restrict their range to Eurasia. Useful in adding color to the autumn landscape, wild asters offer beauty with little maintenance, often blooming in the late summer and fall except for the Alpine aster, which offers blooms in spring. The name comes from the Ancient Greek word meaning "star," referring to the sparkling starburst shape of the flower heads.
Wild asters usually reach three to four feet, compact and mounding like its alpine cousins, and six hundred or more cultivars of the wild aster exist. Some good pairs for the wild aster in the natural garden include coneflowers and goldenrod for a striking display. The average height ranges from twenty to fifty centimeters. However, it may vary depending on the cultivar, and hybrid varieties appear in pink, blue, and purple hues in garden centers. While the wild aster in its natural habitat is not as flashy as the cultivated varieties, it is a wise choice, ecologically speaking. The wild aster thrives better on native soil. Wild asters help attract bees and butterflies, providing pollinators with an essential late-season supply of nectar. They are versatile enough to appear in borders, rock gardens, or wildflower gardens.
Wild Asters-Aster Amellus Require A Simulated Winter Dormancy If You Want To Grow Them Indoors
In choosing and preparing a planting site, wild asters prefer climates with cool, moist summers, especially at night, though they may require shade in warmer temperatures. They ideally like a site with full to partial sun, along with moist, well-drained, and loamy soil—before planting, be sure to mix compost into the ground to boost the nutrients needed. While asters can grow from seed, germination is quite uneven, so you can start the seeds indoors during the winter by sowing seeds in containers that fit into a refrigerator to simulate winter dormancy for four to six weeks and help kickstart growth. Seeds need a one-inch soil depth, preferably in an area exposed by the sun, long after the danger of frost has passed. Mid- to late spring is the best time to plant young asters, though you can utilize fully-grown, potted asters as soon as they are available in your area. Wild asters must have a space of at least one to three feet apart, and like every other plant, wild asters need plenty of water at the time of planting along with mulch to retain moisture.
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