Is your garden starting to fade into fall? Add a splash of color with asters, September’s birth flower that can be wee at just 8 inches, or a statement piece at 8 feet, depending on the type you choose.
Asters have a star-studded backstory: named from the Greek word aster, meaning “star,” there is a myth that the Greek God Virgo, saddened by the lack of stars in the sky, began to cry. As she cried, lovely aster flowers began to grow where her tears fell. (ProFlowers.com)
Asters are a hardy perennial, thriving in sunshine, but they prefer moist summers, so those of us in dryer regions need to water them often. However, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, they are sensitive souls, and can be overwatered as well. I’ve noticed that watering | pruning | feeding my plants becomes practice in paying attention. Similar to cultivating a friendship (and yes, I’m that lady who names her plants) you’ll start to learn what they need, and how they respond to water and sunlight. If you’re over or under-watering your asters, you’ll notice them showing stress if they lose their lower foliage or don’t flower well, and you can adjust accordingly.
Asters do well outdoors, attracting butterflies to your yard, or indoors, especially to grow from seeds to plant in the spring, thus making great gifts for the green-thumbed Virgo in your life. Virgos are known for their logical thinking and wisdom, and the aster, their birth flower, represents patience. Does that ring true for your friends?
Check out The Old Farmer’s Almanac for more growing tips, and tell us in the comments or on Twitter if you’re adding asters to your garden or gifting them to a friend for September. We love to see photos – send ‘em our way @TheCityFarm & @RebeccaSnavely
(Photo: Indiana Public Media)