A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 51 – Aster

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“Aster Minibus” – Late Summer 2013 – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

In my mind… Asters are one of the floral jewels of the autumn landscape… They grow everywhere… I have found them deep in the woods… And I have found them in urban alleys… Asters really aren’t picky plants… They will grow in almost any condition you can throw at them… I find most people pull them early in the year… Mistaken for a weed… This is due to the fact that it is an autumn blooming plant… It doesn’t even start to bud until late August or early September…

Asters are a bomb proof plant… They do not need watered… Transplanting is as easy as popping it out of the ground and cutting the root-ball into pieces… This is best done while the plant is dormant… But like I said… It is bombproof… I have ripped them out of the ground with my bare hands in the middle of the growing period… After realizing what I had just done… And looking around to make sure no one was watching… I threw it back in the hole and stomped it in with my foot… A few weeks later I noticed the plant was getting ready to bloom… A few weeks later than the undisturbed asters… But still blooming… Last summer it resumed a normal flowering schedule…

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Asters require s little work to keep looking good… Asters grow among tall grasses when in nature… Because of this… The plant has evolved to be rather tall… If left alone… Asters can grow 4′ to 6′ – tall depending on the height of the plants growing around it… The way we deal with this in the garden is by regular pruning… I do mine twice a year… In early june I drop the plant down to about 10″ tall… The plant will branch at each leaf node below the cut… Around mid July… The plant will have grown considerably… I now cut each branch down to 3 or 4″ above my early season cut… Doing this in mid to late July allows the plant enough time to recover before going into the bloom cycle… If done properly… Your Aster will not get tall… Lanky… And finally flop over and look bad… It will be short and sexy… Like me… I mean mine…

It is currently 10 degrees outside… We are expecting some snow later on this evening… It has been a long time since Pittsburgh has experienced a winter like this… It sucks… But as always I am finding a bright spot in the situation… This spring will give me an opportunity to observe plants that have been “winter damaged” to a degree I have not experienced before… To clarify… I have experienced rough winters before… This is Pittsburgh after all… But I now observe plants and nature to a different degree than I did before… i.e. I pay attention now… It is an exciting opportunity that may not come again for a long time… Fingers crossed…

I spent a while taking photographs yesterday… I may post a gallery soon…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aster_(genus)

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

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