Asters are the perfect choice to pair with garden mums. They have similar cultural requirements and can be used in summer, fall, and West Coast programs. Asters and mums are grown in the same media and fertilizer. Also, just like garden mums, Fall and West Coast asters are grown with no pinch.
But be aware there are a few differences from garden mum culture: aster cuttings require more care than garden mum cuttings, asters are more sensitive to salts in the root zone, asters are generally smaller in size and can be grown tighter, asters flower faster than mums, and asters are susceptible to some different diseases than garden mums.
Don't limit fertilizer or water.
Like with garden mums, this helps asters attain maximum growth. A complete fertilizer used for garden mums will also work with asters. Feed with fertilizers at 200-300 ppm N constant liquid feed program. If you notice foliage tip burns, you may need to leach. Asters are more sensitive than mums to salts in the root zones. During the first half of the crop cycle, EC values of 1.5-2.7 mS/cm should be maintained.
Asters flower under short days
. Most varieties flower in five weeks. You should retail your asters earlier than your mums, as soon as color starts to show, to increase longevity for the consumer.
Pinching is not required
on natural-season crops, but if you pinch a blackcloth crop, make sure you wait until the roots are well developed. This is usually 10-14 days after planting a rooted cutting.
Asters are usually smaller in size than garden mums. This size difference means you can take your mum recommendations and grow the asters a little tighter.
To create full plants in greenhouse blackcloth crops, give new shoots a light B-Nine
application. Do this when shoots are about .75"-1" long. Skipping this step allows the primary branches to stretch, and the secondary branches will not be able to fill in the plant body.
, and occasionally, spider mites
are asters biggest pests. For pest control, you can use the same procedures as mums.
are two diseases that asters are susceptible to that mums are not. However, disease expression is weather dependent and will vary from year to year. Fortunately, these diseases will not spread to an adjacent garden mum crop.
But to avoid them, apply protective fungicides when conditions are conducive for disease development. A rotation of Daconil ULTREX and Mural or Heritage fungicide
in rotation with a myclobutanil chemical
such as Eagle or Hoist will help control these diseases.
Planting Aster Liners
- Plant deep so the top of our ellepot is slightly below the soil level in your container. It is especially hard to plant deep in a growing media with a high content of pine bark. Slow down the transplant line, and do it right.
- Plant in the center. This will eliminate any issue of lopsided, wobbly plants at finish. There is a chance you had 10-15% plugs planted off-center last season.
- Pinching is not required on a natural season bloom schedule, but it will make a nicer plant.
Cuttings vary in size between different plant families. These rooted starter plants will arrive ready to be transplanted in to your final container. If they are to be used in a landscape application, you will need to establish them in a 4 inch pot or an 1801 before planting outside.
Aster Magic Purple Quick Reference Guide