Choosing And Planting Aster Plants That Are Blue
Blue Aster Varieties – Choosing And Planting Asters That Are Blue:
There are two types of blue aster plants; dwarf and regular. Dwarf varieties have shorter stems than their tall counterparts. They grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) high with 1 foot (30 cm) wide leaves.
Regular varieties grow up to 3 feet (90 cm) high with 4 to 6 inch (10-15 cm) wide leaves. Both types of blue aster are easy to grow and require little care. Some dwarf varieties are hardy, while others need some extra attention during the growing season.
The dwarf variety of blue aster is one that requires less care than its taller counterpart. They prefer full sun or partial shade. You can plant them out in pots or in containers.
If they’re planted outside, make sure the soil is well drained so that it doesn’t dry out too quickly. For best results, water them only when needed and don’t let them get completely wilted.
If you want your plants to be taller than normal, then you’ll need to provide additional support for their growth by adding supports such as stakes or branches. They prefer full sun or partial shade and enjoy well draining soil. They like to be watered when the top of the soil becomes dry to the touch.
Don’t water them when they are in full sun as this will cause them to wilt and become susceptible to fungal diseases. Fertilize them once during the growing season.
Asters aren’t typically pruned unless they’re being grown for their flowers. If this is the case, you’ll need to prune them as soon as they start to bloom. This is typically done after they’re done blooming.
If left unchecked, they can grow out of control and their stems will become weak and prone to breaking off during a light breeze.
Blue Asters in History
Asters have been used for countless years by many civilizations for various purposes. The ancient Romans and the Native Americans used the blue and purple varieties for dye. The flowers of the asters have also been used in folk medicine for a variety of purposes.
During World War I, the Red Cross made artificial flowers with asters as their base. These were sent to soldiers during the war. They were a reminder of home and many soldiers used the plastic flowers to secretly hide small personal treasures such as family photos or letters from loved ones.
If they were captured or killed during battle, the treasures were often sent back to their families.
How Do You Dry Blue Asters?
You can dry asters in the same way that you would dry any other flower or herb. The process is quite simple and is not very difficult. It typically takes a couple of weeks to complete, but the results are well worth it. To dry your flowers, follow these steps:
Harvest your flowers when they are dry. There is no need to pick individual petals. Get a bowl or casserole dish and place it in the oven on its lowest temperature setting.
Place a cookie sheet or something similar underneath the bowl in case of any spills. Your flowers should be placed on the cookie sheet or tray as well. Turn the oven off and leave your flowers and tray in the oven until they are completely dry and crunchy to the touch. This will probably take about 2 weeks. If you’re in a hurry, you can place the flower tray in a cool oven and turn the heat on for 1 hour. Turn it off and leave it in the oven for 24 hours. This will speed up the process some what but you might as well just leave them in your oven for 2 weeks if you have that much time to spare.
You now have dried blue asters, ready to use whenever the mood strikes you.
What Else Can You Do With Asters?
There are a number of other things that you can do with asters. Since they typically grow in large patches and have large flowers, they make excellent fall decorations. They can be made into crowns and worn by children on Halloween, or used to make a center piece for your dining room table. If you’re feeling really creative, you could even make a wreath out of dried asters and hang it on your front door for everyone to see when they come calling.
Whatever you do, don’t throw them away or simply leave them to rot in a field somewhere. This is one flower that is definitely worthy of being preserved forever.
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Sources & references used in this article:
EVALUATION OF FIFTEEN PERENNIAL GARDEN ASTERS FOR USE IN ARKANSAS1 by LM Goff, G Klingaman… – Arkansas Agricultural …, 1999 – scholarworks.uark.edu
Using the British national collection of asters to compare the attractiveness of 228 varieties to flower-visiting insects by M Garbuzov, FLW Ratnieks – Environmental entomology, 2015 – academic.oup.com
Fusarium wilt of China aster by KF Baker – US Dep. Agric. Yearb. Agric, 1953 – sad.hmarts.ru
Epidemiology and management of Fusarium wilt of China asters by WH Elmer, RJ McGovern – Plant disease, 2013 – Am Phytopath Society
A Comparative Study of Cultivated Asters by JV Stevens – chicagobotanic.org
Aster plant named Blue Butterfly by ZK Tvrtkovic-Sahin, PJ Akerboom – US Patent App. 07/378,180, 1990 – Google Patents