China Aster ‘Rainbow Mix’


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China Aster ‘Rainbow Mix’

Callistephus chinensis

China Aster ‘Rainbow Mix’ comes in a multitude of dazzling colours, perfect if you are desperate to try them all but only have a small growing space. This was hands down my favourite flower bed to visit last summer.

Not to be confused with the perennial Aster, this showstopper is from Northern China.

Callistephus chinensis, sometimes called the ‘Peony Aster’ due to the striking resemblance, blooms right at the end of the season, just as everything else is starting to fade.

How to Grow:

China Aster ‘Rainbow Mix’ is both cold and light sensitive so don’t start them too early.

Seeds will benefit from ‘a bit of warmth’ to germinate, 20-22°C is ideal, a warm kitchen or a heat mat.

I sow one seed per cell on to the surface of the compost only covering with a clear propagator lid to retain moisture and humidity.

Plant 22cm apart after the last frost.

For more detailed growing instructions join our ‘Grow-A-Long’ on Instagram  and for busy gardeners you can now plan ahead with our Spring Grow-A-Long Handbook

Variety: Callistephus chinensis
Type: Half Hardy Annual
Position: Plants require full sun
Sow: Spring
Height: 70-80cm
Spacing: 22cm
Harvest: dramatic displays from July until September
Seeds per packet: 50 (approx. counted by weight)

Cutting /Vase Life:

A fabulous cut flower, producing large blooms on strong slender stems. Pick as soon as flowers begin to open and rest stems in a bucket of water for a few hours (preferably overnight), this is called conditioning. Excellent vase life.