The first thing to remember with anaster plants is they are very adaptable. They will grow just fine in your garden if given enough room and water. If you have a small space, then it might not be possible for them to survive or thrive here. You may need to prune them down so they don’t crowd out other plants in your garden.
In fact, some anaster plant species like the common star anaster (Aster spp.) actually prefer being kept in smaller spaces than others such as the dwarf star anaster (Aster natalensis). Some species will even tolerate having their leaves removed completely!
So what does all this mean?
Well, it means that you can give them a little extra room and still enjoy the benefits of these beautiful plants.
Here’s how to prune anaster plants:
When to Prune?
When you’re planning on pruning anaster plants, there are several factors that come into play. These include: size of the plant, type of soil and climate, and amount of light. Let’s take a look at each one individually…
Size – Size matters! Anaster plants are generally considered small but they can get big quickly if grown in poor conditions. It’s best to keep anaster plants in small containers and only prune the roots when they get too large for the container (this can take up to a couple of years)
Soil – When it comes to soil, anaster plants do best in sandier soils and don’t fare as well in clay or rocky areas. The roots of these plants will often stay within the container that you plant them in so make sure it has good drainage.
Light – Most anaster plants need a fair amount of light to grow properly. If you’re growing these plants in containers, make sure that you place them in an area that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
What to Prune?
Before you decide to start hacking away at your anaster plant, you need to know what’s going to be safe and beneficial for it in the long run. This means that you shouldn’t prune any of the flowers, buds or stems. These all help the plant to produce seeds and is necessary for its survival.
It’s actually best to not mess with the root system either since you can harm the plant’s ability to uptake water and other nutrients from the soil (which will kill it). In fact, most anaster plants have very invasive roots that spread quickly under the ground making it difficult to get them out of their containers.
When to Prune?
As mentioned earlier, anaster plants can get quite large with some species having root structures that spread out over 15 feet in all directions. Since these plants tend to have shallow root systems, they can easily be blown over in the wind if their root structure gets too large. This is why it’s best to limit their size before this happens.
As with most plants that have a woody stem, anaster plants should be pruned just after they bloom. The stems are at their weakest (but still tough so use gloves!) at this time so it’s easier to cut them back and they will produce a lot more side shoots that can be removed or trimmed in the future.
Here are some examples of common anaster plants.
Aster sp. – There are many types of asters, so many in fact that the origins of some are unknown. They can be found growing all over the world except for Antarctica and some islands. They come in several colors, shapes and sizes.
Aster tradescantia – The Common Aster is only found in eastern parts of North America. It has purple, pink or white flowers and can reach up to four feet in height.
Sources & references used in this article:
Comparative Study of the Photoperiodic response of Five Siberian aster, Aster sibiricus, Cultivars by T DiSabato-Aust – 2006 – Timber Press
Perennial garden aster production in northwest Arkansas by J Muzzy – 2008 – conservancy.umn.edu
Urban Water-Quality Management. Rain Garden Plants by LH Bailey – 1915 – Macmillan
THE EFFECTS OF SUMMER PRUNING ON APPLE TREE CANOPY MICROCLIMATE AND FRUIT QUALITY by L Goff, A Einert, G Klineaman – HortScience, 1993 – journals.ashs.org
Encyclopedia of plants and flowers by S French, L Fox, M Andruczyk, T Gilland, L Swanson – 2009 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu