Grow-A-Long China Asters

China Aster (Callistephus chinensis)

Don’t confuse these with cottage garden Asters (Symphyotrichum), which are herbaceous perennials and can be invasive.
This showstopper is from Northern China. it blooms right at the end of the season, just as everything else is starting to fade and look a little tired.

China asters come in a multitude of dazzling colours. I have selected my favourites for the spring grow-a-long shop.

China asters can suffer from botrytis if allowed to get too cold and wet. Tender plants, you must protect at all costs from frost. don’t start them off too early.

Another reason to delay starting China asters is they are light sensitive. for best results wait until daylight levels have returned to around 14 hours – mid April for me.

Planting out China Asters (28 June 2023)

China Aster (Callistephus chinensis)

Plant in full sun.

I don’t pinch China Aster, the naturally branch on long slender stems.

It’s been sunny, very windy and particularly dry this season.

To help plants cope, I have planted plugs a little deeper to allow the soil to give extra support until they hit the first layer of support wire mesh (stock fencing).

The deeper planting will also help keep the soil around the roots cooler and less likely to dry out between watering.

China asters can suffer from botrytis, to protect plants a good spacing (20-25cm apart or 9”)
will allow airflow between the plants, don’t overwater.

Ideally don’t plant year on year in exactly the same position, move plants around the garden to protect from Fusarium wilt. More information is on our original Grow-A-Long video above