About Arrow-leaved Aster: Though no longer common in the wild, Arrow-leaved Aster still grows occasionally in open woodland areas or prairies. 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.
Arrow-leaved Aster Germination: Direct sow the seed in late fall, planting it on 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 60 days. 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 partial sun and medium to dry soil, and also tolerates sand, clay, or rocky soil.
Growing Arrow-leaved Aster Seeds: This plant does not tolerate drought well, and may need occasional watering in dry weather. As the plant grows taller, it tends to become top heavy and may need support or staking. The lower leaves have a tendency to wither in dry weather. 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.
Harvesting Arrow-leaved Aster: Asters make lovely cut flowers. Cut the stems long, choosing flowers that have just opened.
Saving Arrow-leaved 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 Arrow-leaved Aster Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Broad-leaved Aster, White Arrow-leaf Aster Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Fall Height: 24-36 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Partial Sun to Woodland Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 130,000 Produces a plant with 4” heart-shaped, toothed leaves and large clusters of ½” lavender daisy-like flowers.