About Single Mixed China Aster: This fall-blooming beauty, though a member of the Aster family, more closely resembles the chrysanthemum; its unique characteristics have made it the only member of the Callistephus genus. As the name suggests, it originates in China. China Asters are widely grown throughout many countries for commercial use in the cut flower industry. The common name of “aster” comes from the ancient Greek, meaning “star” in reference to the flower’s brightness and shape.
Single Mixed China Aster Germination: Direct sow in early spring, planting ¼” below the surface of the soil. For continuous blooming into late fall, plant a new crop every two weeks. To start indoors, sow the seed in a flat or peat pots 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost; keep the soil lightly moist and the temperature around 65-70 degrees F until germination, which should occur within 7-10 days. Transplant the seedlings 8-12” apart as soon as they can safely be handled and there is no chance of frost. This plant grows best in rich, evenly moist soil.
Growing Single Mixed China Aster Seeds: Water the plants regularly, not allowing the soil to dry out completely since this plant does not tolerate drought well. Keep the weeds down, since this plant needs air circulation for healthiest growth; a layer of mulch may help conserve moisture and control weeds. As they grow, taller plants may need support or staking. Watch out for pests and disease, since aphids and various foliar diseases tend to target this flower; immediately remove and discard leaves that have become infected to prevent the disease from spreading, and grow the plant in a different place next year. Deadhead for increased blooming and to prevent reseeding, if volunteer plants are not wanted. This plant attracts bees and butterflies, as well as resisting deer.
Harvesting Single Mixed China Aster: For long lasting fresh flowers, cut the stems long and place them in water immediately.
Saving Single Mixed China Aster Seeds: Allow the flowers to mature into seed heads. The dried heads will contain tiny tan seeds of a rounded shape. Remove the heads and spread them out to dry completely, away from directed sunlight. Crush or open the heads to release the seed. Store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Single Mixed China Aster Info: Origin: China Other Common Names: China Aster Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer-Early Fall Height: 12-36 inches Spacing: 6-12 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 2-11 Seeds Per Oz: 12,000 Produces serrated, 2-3” pointed leaves and fragrant 3-5” daisy-like flowers with varying shades of light and bright pink, white, maroon, red, or purple petals and yellow centers.