A popular, simple looking flower, the aster has been around for thousands of years. With over 600 species in its Asteraceae family, this flower genus is mainly native to North America (although it can be grown all over the world) and includes species like the ever admired daisy, chrysanthemum and marigold flowers to name a few. Two other types of popular asters however, are native to the United Kingdom. These would be the goldilocks and sea asters species.
The name aster originates from the Greek word astron, meaning “star”, because of the shape this flower blooms into. They can grow anywhere from 2-4 feet in height, and usually have small flower heads that sit on tall thin stems. An interesting fact about asters is that they are not actually a single flower. Instead, they are a compilation of several small flowers that sit tightly together to give the illusion of one flower. This unique feature truly sets them apart from other flower species.
Most asters are perennial flowers, meaning they have longer lifespans, generally lasting two or more years. Although they can blossom year-round, it is more common to see these flowers bloom in the late summer and fall seasons. You will notice florists utilizing this beautiful flower more often this time of year due to their fresh blooms and bright colors. You may also be more aware of this bright flower species during the fall season because of the traditional falling leaves and changing color of most other plants.
Caring for all types of asters is generally an easy task if you simply follow their preferred way of life. They like to live in soil that is reasonably moist, but well drained; asters do not like being flooded with water. Asters also do not like water on their leaves, as this makes them highly prone to fungus. To avoid getting water on their leaves, irrigate asters at soil level. They also prefer the taste of compost or mulch for its gradual discharge of nourishment, as opposed to fertilizers that are often too strong for these plants. Plant these flowers in the early summer to ensure fantastic colors in the fall season.
Also visit our Aster Life Cycle page.
(Images provided by AFIF)