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Asters are pubescent rhizome perennials, reaching a height of 20-150 cm, bluish-purple, pink or purple with a yellow middle. This plant has whole or serrated leaves. Flower baskets come in corymbose inflorescences, or sometimes solitary. The fruit of the aster is the achene with crest.
Varieties of aster
Astra belongs to the genus of herbaceous plants and belongs to the family Asteraceae. About 200 of its species are known to science. This plant is common in Eurasia and North America. In Russia you can find salt marsh aster (Aster tripolium), naked (Aster laevis), willow (Aster salignus), multi-colored (Aster versicolor), lanceolate (Aster lanceolatus), white-bristled (Aster albosetus), Italian, chamomile, wild, European, steppe (Aster amellus) Asters bloom in September, they are winter-resistant and photophilous. This plant belongs to honey and medicinal.
If you want to see well-developed and beautiful flowers on your site, you should take care of the correctness of their cultivation. They are simple enough, and compliance with them will not take much time and will not require much effort from you.
To begin with, you should choose a suitable location. These are well-lit, sunny places that are protected from drafts and sudden gusts of wind. The soil in such areas should be well-drained, and sandstone or loam, light and breathable, with a distant groundwater level, would be the best option. The acidity of the soil should also be appropriate, and kept at 6.5-7.5 pH. It will be quite correct to plant asters in places where perennial herbs, marigolds, calendula were previously grown, but you should refrain from planting flowers in areas where there were carnations, gladioli or tulips.
Of course, the most correct way to grow asters is at a temperature of about + 15 ° C and at a humidity of 70%, but if this is not possible, then just try to ensure proper soil moisture. Excessive watering is not needed here at all, but if the summer turned out to be hot and arid, then try not to leave the plants without moisture at all, this can kill them, despite the fact that this is a fairly drought-resistant crop. In particular, proper and systematic watering is necessary during the budding period. So you provide a beautiful and plentiful flowering.
Why do asters die
It is also important to use dressings, which are introduced throughout the season. Initially, this is organics, back in the fall, before planting asters for next year. Further, it is worth using mineral fertilizers, and this must be done strictly at certain periods: 10-15 days after planting, during budding, during flowering. The last top dressing must be carried out, excluding nitrogen fertilizers.
Transplantation and reproduction
Most often, propagation is practiced by seeds, which are planted in the early spring to get strong seedlings. High-quality, properly prepared seeds are used for this, which are planted in slightly acidic soil. If seedlings managed to gain strength in a couple of months, then you can transfer it to the open ground already in late spring. There is another way, when the seeds are planted immediately in open ground. But remember that in this case, expect flowering in the same season is only by mid-autumn.
If we talk about perennial species, then more often they are sown in the ground before winter. Flowering in these plants will appear only after a year or two. At this point, asters can be propagated vegetatively by dividing the bush. It is best to do this in early spring and use only strong shrubs for reproduction. Please note that the delenok must have at least three strong shoots and a sufficient number of roots for good rooting.
Known in the summer cottage and the reproduction of asters by apical cuttings. To do this, cut strong, viable cuttings of 7-8 cm in size, and root them in a nutritious soil mixture - sand, peat, turf. After this, the cuttings should be kept in a small greenhouse, or simply under a film, for 30-40 days, and planted in open ground at the end of summer or at the very beginning of autumn.
Diseases and Pests
Experts say that no matter how strong the asters may seem, in fact, they are prone to many diseases. And, first of all, this root rot. Timely prevention by spraying the bushes with a solution of sulfuric acid salts with magnesium, copper and zinc saves from the disease.
It is often found and powdery mildew, which most often visits plants growing on poor soils. The disease can spoil the decorative appearance of flowers and in case of untimely rejuvenation of plants or improper watering. For treatment of powdery mildew, plants are sprayed with sulfuric preparations.
Late blight - The next disease that must be mentioned. You can avoid it by keeping the planting clean. You can also prevent disease by spraying with copper.
As you can see, there are many diseases, and each of them can not only harm the plants that you like so much, but even destroy them. Therefore, you should be very careful and pay more attention to the appearance of asters in order to notice negative changes in time and proceed to active actions. But attentiveness is useful not only in case of diseases, because a lot of pests also hunt for beautiful and fragrant flowers. The most important of them are butterfly scoops, whose caterpillars seriously eat up the greenery of the plant. To prevent this, timely remove old plants from the beds, try to weed out on time, loosen the soil. By the way, these actions will not allow attacks of kidney aphids, which should further stimulate summer residents to keep the planting clean. Do not forget to also carry out preventive spraying of plants with karbofos, phosphamide and chlorophos, which will help to quickly get rid of unwanted insects if they have already begun their activity on the leaf part.
They attack astro and other pests that cause no less harm. These are slugs and spider mites. Lime and superphosphate sprinkling, as well as deep loosening of the soil, will help get rid of the former. From ticks, it is best to spray with infusions on garlic or onions.
Use in landscape design
We are well aware that every summer cottage owner can find the use of astram in the garden on their own, but, nevertheless, we want to remind you where the beautiful plants look best. This is a single linear planting, group planting, mixborders and rabatki, rocky terrain and borders. Do not forget that perennial flowers are good honey plants, and therefore, you can use them not only as a plant for landscaping.