Douglas Aster

Douglas Aster

SKU: FL1215
This BC native wildflower is found in nearly every part of the province, from Haida Gwaii to the Southern Interior, and south well into Washington and Oregon. Douglas Aster is a perennial that is hardy in Zones 5 to 9, and can reach as tall as 1m (3'). Read More

Exposure Full-sun to partial shade

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More details about Douglas Aster

Symphyotrichum subspicatum. This BC native wildflower is found in nearly every part of the province, from Haida Gwaii to the Southern Interior, and south well into Washington and Oregon. Douglas Aster is a perennial that is hardy in Zones 5 to 9, and can reach as tall as 1m (3'). Its slightly hairy grey foliage and stems are hardly noticeable for most of the summer, but then it goes into bloom around mid August, continuing into September. This late season bloom time provides essential nectar to insects at a time when many other flowering plants are shutting down for the winter. This deer resistant plant spreads very gradually by underground rhizomes, and its seeds are slow to germinate, so it will not get out of hand. Pinch the stems to encourage branching, and deadhead spent flowers for a longer bloom period.

Perennial.

Quick Facts:

    • Perennial
    • Hardy in Zones 5-9
    • BC native wildflower
    • Blooms August-September

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Douglas Aster

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All About Douglas Aster

Latin

Latin
Symphyotrichum subspicatum
Family: Asteraceae

Difficulty

Difficulty
Moderately challenging

Season & Zone

Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 5

Timing: Sow indoors 5-6 weeks before transplanting after the last frost date. Or simply direct sow in spring. Seeds can be slow to germinate, so be patient.

Seeding: Barely cover the seeds, and keep soil moist until plants are established.

Growing: Grow in full sun to light shade, in fertile, moist soil. The plants spread very slowly by underground rhizomes. Clumps can be split up and replanted every 2-3 years. Although the plants are drought tolerant, they thrive in full sun in moist conditions.

How to Grow China Aster

Step 1: Starting

Sow indoors 6-8 weeks before planting out, in peat pots or similar. Otherwise direct sow outdoors after the last frost date. Just cover the seeds. If starting indoors, provide bright light and a soil temperature of 18-21°C (65-70°F). China Aster seedlings are very susceptible to damping off, so provide good ventilation and only water from below.

Step 2: Growing

Space or transplant 30-45cm (12-18″) apart. This spacing is key to success later  in the season, so please follow the guidance. Do not pinch back young plants. Water regularly during dry spells. This plant is particularly sensitive to over-watering, and will not thrive if over-crowded, poorly ventilated, or situated close to a heat-reflecting surface. Mulch around the plants in summer to help keep the roots cool.

Tip!

Callistephus is prone to a bacteria-like organism known as aster yellows. If yellow spots become an obvious problem, destroy any infected plant before the condition spreads to others. Practice strict garden rotation with China Asters: never plant them in the same spot year after year.

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