About Aromatic Aster: Aromatic Aster blooms very late in the fall, and distinguishes itself from other asters by its attractive balsam scented foliage and larger than usual blooms. Though rather uncommon in the wild, it usually grows in rough, dry ground or prairie soil. Originally from the Greek language, “aster” means “star.” At one time, asters were called starworts, frost flowers, or Michaelmas daisies; in spite of their daisy-like petals, asters are actually diminutive members of the sunflower family. In the language of flowers, these starry blossoms symbolize elegance or daintiness. They make a traditional gift for birthdays in the month of September, or for 20th wedding anniversaries.
Aromatic Aster Germination: Direct sow the seed in late fall or early spring, planting it just under the surface and watering it once. To start the seed indoors, sow it in a flat; keep the soil evenly moist and at a temperature of 65-70 degrees F until germination, which should take place within 14-20 days. Transplant the seedlings after the last frost of spring, placing them 18-24” apart. This plant prefers full sun and rocky or dry soil, but also tolerates moist soil that drains well.
Growing Aromatic Aster Seeds: This plant tolerates drought well, and should not need watering unless drought conditions persist. Keep in mind that too much moisture may cause root rot. Keep weeds under control, since this plant does not like competition. For bushy, compact growth, prune the plants early in the season before they bud. Mature plants may need staking or support. These asters will spread rather slowly, forming a colony over time if volunteer plants are not removed. Mature plants will benefit from division after two or three years of growth. Cut the stalks down to the ground at the end of the growing season for easier growth in the spring. The flowers attract numerous bees and butterflies, providing a valuable source of nectar in late fall.
Harvesting Aromatic Aster: Asters make lovely cut flowers. Cut the stems long, choosing flowers that have just opened.
Saving Aromatic Aster Seeds: After flowering, the plant will produce seed heads containing small clusters of seed with white fluff. Since sparrows and goldfinches love to eat the seed, harvest it promptly to avoid loss. Cut the mature seed heads, or shake them into a container to remove the seed material. Clean the seed as well as possible, then store it in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Aromatic Aster Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Fall Aster, Wild Blue Aster, Shale Barren Aster Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Fall Height: 18-24 inches Spacing: 24-36 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Dry USDA Zone: 4a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 51,000 Produces a plant with thickly growing, balsam scented foliage and abundant, 1” daisy-like flowers with blue lavender petals and yellow centers.