China Asters - Mixed - Seed
A fantastic mix of large-flowered China Asters!
China Aster seed requires no prior treatment.Sowing method
Outdoors: April- June.
Simplest way indoors is, from March in a propagator on the window-sill - or in a cold frame. Perfect temperature would be 18-22 degrees centigrade. Fill pots with potting compost and sow one seed per pot. Cover with 0.5 cm soil and sprinkle with water. Heat will do the rest. Plant out from mid-May. Hold them back until the weather is reasonable outdoors, by standing them in a cooler but light place.
In the garden, they need a sunny spot and can be sown from the end of April up to and including June. Loosen the soil with a fork to 30 cm deep and draw a straight furrow about 1 cm deep. Label the row, then mix the seed with some sharp, dry sand and sow lightly along the row. Cover with 0.5 cm soil, press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Extra rows at 30 cm apart.
Seedlings are liable to frost damage so protect them with garden fleece. The seed will germinate in 14-21 days.
The China Aster (Callistephus chinensis) is an annual that grows 60 to 70 cm. Not surprisingly, given the name, this plant originated in China.How to use
China Asters look lovely in a border as well as in pretty planters on your patio or decking. The lovely flowers look great in a vase as a pretty summer bouquet!
Water extra during dry periods, keep the bed weed-free and your China Asters will thrive, even in poor soil. China Asters are very undemanding but do not like their 'feet' wet. The plant can flower from June until the first frosts. Keep deadheading to promote flowering.Harvesting
Simply cut the tall stems with scissors or a sharp knife to pick them. Nipping them off with thumb and index finger is also possible.