About White Upland Aster: Because of its aster-like flowers, this plant has historically been classified in the Asteracaea family. In 1981, however, the research of botanists Brouillet and Semple revealed that it actually belongs to the goldenrod family; as a result, this flower also has the Latin name ‘Solidago ptarmicoides.’ This fact explains its characteristically goldenrod-like foliage and readiness to hybridize with that family. Regardless of its confusing family history, this plant distinguishes itself by its mounds of white flowers in even the driest, poorest soil and hottest sun.
White Upland Aster Germination: Direct sow the seed in late fall, planting it just under the surface and watering it once. If direct sown in the spring, the seed must be stratified first by mixing it with moist sand and stored in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks. To start the stratified 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 sandy or dry soil.
Growing White Upland 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. 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. Deer avoid this plant.
Harvesting White Upland Aster: Asters make lovely cut flowers. Cut the stems long, choosing flowers that have just opened.
Saving White Upland 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 White Upland Aster Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: White Aster, Stiff Aster, Sneezewort Aster, Prairie Goldenrod, Upland White Goldenrod Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Late Summer-Fall Height: 12-15 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Dry USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 58,000 Produces a low, mounded plant with narrow 6-8” pointed leaves and flat clusters of ˝” white daisy-like flowers.