Purple Aster from Seed and Wild Asters

chickencoupeOctober 1, 2013

I saw a picture of a beautiful purple daisy-like flower on the internet, somewhere. Turns out, the owner was more than happy to send me some of these purple aster flower pods originating from Alabama.

The next week, some wild aster flowers popped up near the road. They're wee in size but pretty. I'm falling in love with asters.

Do I need to overwinter the Alabama purple aster seeds for growth next year or is it better to wait and cold stratify a few weeks before spring?

I'm sorry. I have no details on which variety it is.

In addition, I wonder if I can pull up the wild asters safely and plant them in better soil? I'd love to give them the opportunity to get much larger and care for them so they will come up every year. They're only coming up because of the rain that reached us.

How deep do I need to prepare the beds for either?

Note: The pods from the Alabama Asters are about the size of nickels. So, I'm guessing it is a medium-sized aster flower.

Thanks Lisa (lol) *hugs*

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Lisa_H(7)

lol...how did you know I'd be the first one here :) I was going to say...oh, you need wild asters, I have some for you. I have some that came with my house that multiply by runners/roots. I have to be very uh, proactive, with them, but they are my last plant blooming in my yard, so I keep a few of them around. The bees love them. Mine take NO care, They could take over the world if you let them!

Now to answer your questions....I would winter sow them. If they are growing in a ditch/non cultivated area, that is a good sign they don't need a lot of pampering. I would not over amend/enrich the bed where you want them to go.

On the other hand....this site says about the opposite :) so you might head for a middle ground. I do have mine in partial shade.

Here is a link that might be useful: Asters

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 2:19PM
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GreatPlains1(7OK)

You can dig a section of a plant straight from the ground, all you need is part of the root, they don't even go into shock. The same thing works for Maximillian sunflowers if you want to add some yellow to the fall mix. I see various purple and white asters growing around wild here. Its a good time to do it since you can see the bloom colors, size etc.

I have never heard of asters having pods. Thats sounds like something other than an aster.

Woops, I forgot. No, they don't need special soil, in fact they would probably get too tall and lanky in improved or good garden soil and they can be overly aggressive too.

This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Tue, Oct 1, 13 at 14:21

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 2:19PM
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chickencoupe

@GreatPlains Keep in mind I've no idea what I'm talking about with these. lol The kind gentlemen sent me the center portion of the flower that contains the seed. Whatever you call that! haha

Thank you for the tip on those Maximilian flowers. I will look for them to add to a fall collection of pretties. It's nice seeing things bloom this time of year.

Good to know about the soil.

Thanks, Lisa. I wish I knew what variety I had. It looks like my clay soil is all it will really need. That should make things very simple. I can use the soil where those wild ones are now and move them.

Gollies, I saw more beautiful dragon flies today along with monarch flitting by after I watered the planter where the echinacea sits.

It's nice to see such a great response to the changes I've made. Next spring, if we do not have a dry winter, is going to be absolutely spectacular given the rain all these goodies are enjoying now.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 3:16PM
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GreatPlains1(7OK)

The aster seeds look like puff balls, sort of like very small dandelion seeds, they blow in the wind. You can cut the plants back mid summer to make them shorter and thicker with heavier blooms if you want.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 5:21PM
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chickencoupe

What I received was the entire head like that, but dried out. I guess that would work? About 20 of them. I suppose I could just plant the entire thing. I cannot tell which is the seed.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 6:41PM
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soonergrandmom

If you get them anywhere the ground they will probably come up.....again and again.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 7:49PM
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GreatPlains1(7OK)

Break them apart. There's a lot of seeds in each "ball", the seed is the solid part in the center and the fluff is just fluff to make them airborne. Don't plant them too deep, just rough up the soil a bit and tamp them in.

Here's some called "Georgia Aster" showing individual seeds I pulled off google but sometimes the seeds are smaller. I direct sowed sowed some last year and not a single one came up, I think they spread more from roots than seeds because I have not ever had many volunteer plants. You might want to try to winter sow some of them in pots or milk jugs.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 9:03PM
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chickencoupe

ha Awesome. I got all my jugs ready today, in fact. I'll do that since I don't know what I'm doing and let nature take care of the rest. Any time I use a milk jug, it works like a charm. Well, for veggies, anyway.

Gollies, this is too much fun.

Here is a link that might be useful: Uh hoo this is just too good

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 10:17PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I like the wild asters in a wild place. I have plants that I like for the wilder parts of my yard. Four o clocks are one. They take care of themselves and can compete with weeds. I have moved the jerusalem artichokes out of the yard but I still get to see the yellow flowers where I have it on the edges of the tame area.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:48PM
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chickencoupe

I'm itching to do more. Is it too late to divide some of my Iris bulbs?

There's plenty to spare. I guess I could test it. Cold front coming in, but freezing temps aren't anticipated.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Lisa_H(7)

It is pretty late for irises...generally that is done mid summer. You could probably move some perennials though. Or start sowing larkspur, ect

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 11:08PM
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Lisa_H(7)

You need to live in OKC..I could fill up a flower bed or two for you :)

This post was edited by lisa_h on Thu, Oct 3, 13 at 23:10

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 11:09PM
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chickencoupe

I need to pace myself. But, yeah, would be nice. I'd build the beds and you could just come over and plug everything in. :D

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 11:19PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Watch for plants on sale. I got some yellow pansies cheap at Lowes the other day. I prefer violas but the pansies and violas don't look healthy this year. I haven't purchased any at the regular price and I would if I could find nice ones. I love violas.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 3:45AM
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chickencoupe

I'm seeing these droopy double-colored violas online. How cute are those? ha!

What sort of soil do violas and pansies like?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 3:58AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I plant my violas in fall in potting mix like Miracle Grow or the like in big pots and have them by my door. They take off in spring and then I pull them when they start looking bad. They are cute and a pick up in spring. I have them every year and they always look pretty much the same.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:44AM
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chickencoupe

Helen, that is so gorgeuz!! It's like a little piece of floral heaven.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:38PM
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