Seed To Bloom:
Start in containers 6-8 weeks before last spring frost. Keep at about 60-70°F. Retain moisture by covering with humidity dome until germination occurs.
Direct sow after all danger of frost has passed.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
China Aster is a favorite cut flower and a delightful summer and fall annual for the front to mid-border. If direct sowing, thin to final spacing early to allow the plants to develop unchecked by crowding. Pinch when they have two sets of leaves to develop branching and more flowers. Susceptible to aster yellows disease transmitted by leafhoppers, control at the first signs of damage and destroy any infected plants. Cut flower growers should tent with row cloth early to protect their crop.
Do not allow soil to dry out; water regularly, particularly during dry periods, but avoid saturated soils.
Slightly acidic to neutral
Feed with an organic, low-nitrogen water-soluble fertilizer every month if soil is not rich.
Diseases & Pests:
China asters should be moved from year to year to a different spot in the garden and grown far enough apart to ensure good air circulation to prevent disease. Row covers protect growing plants from leafhoppers that spread Aster yellows disease.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Harvest when the flowers are fully open.