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Plants Online - Michaelmas daisy

Plants for sale - Michaelmas daisy

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Michaelmas Daisy – Starwort, Perennial Aster
Hardy Perennial.
Eighteen inches to six feet.
Flowers of several colours, July to November.

Perhaps the most generally useful plant for furnishing cut flowers and colour in the garden through the far end of the summer and even beyond the first frosts.

The perennial Starworts are absolutely hardy, increase rapidly, will grow in any tolerable soil, and have a large range of variety in height and habit of plant and colour of flowers; the latter are single, daisy-fashion, a circle of rays surrounding a yellow centre.

It is worth while to give the ground some special treatment before planting. In the herbaceous border, each station should be prepared by digging a space of two or three square yards two spits deep, and working in plenty of half-rotten manure below, with lighter material in the upper stratum.

If a bed or large width of Asters is to be grown together, the ground should be trenched through, manuring as the work proceeds. The site should be open and sunny, but not too hot or artificially root-dry.

The planting is best done in early spring; a light top-dressing may be scattered amongst the roots, which should be eighteen inches to a yard apart, according to the height of the plants. As growth advances, one or two stout sticks must be driven in beside each clump, and a girth of tarred string fastened round the sheaf of stems before there is danger from storms.

Instead of string, a wooden hoop, about eighteen inches in diameter, and preferably painted in dull green, may be placed about the plant, and nailed or fixed with wire to a stout stake.

Another way of securing the clumps is to place a cylinder of large-mesh wire netting round the plants in spring; as growth advances the wire is almost concealed by the leafage.

The whole must, of course, be supported by sufficient stakes. In hot, dry weather water must be freely given; the dense mat-like root fibres are extremely thirsty, and in light soils the plant often flags dismally.

The water should be given two feet away from the stems, to reach the outermost fibres, and it must be ample – three or four gallons in a moderate drink for one strong clump.

he dead stalks and litter must be cut down in November, the ground weeded and lightly pricked over, and a good top-dressing afforded.

The clumps should be lifted, broken up and replanted about the fourth year. Choose the strong outside growths for the new plantation; the woody and spindling pieces from the centre should be thrown away.


There are at present a great many named sorts of Michaelmas Daisy, a large proportion of which are to the ordinary gardener’s eye extremely alike.

New varieties appear every season, some excellent, some altogether negligible.

The grower should be neither too conservative nor too adventurous; let him keep the sterling sorts, and make notes of the good new things as he sees them at shows, in nurseries, or in the garden of his friends.

The following are approved kinds:

Aster amellus Bessarabicus. Two or three feet. Large purple blue flowers, September to October.
Aster “Coombe Fishacre”. Three feet; flesh-coloured flowers, September to October.
Aster novæ Angliæ. Fiver to six feet; dark purple, September to October.
Aster novæ Angliæ rubber. Five feet. Flowers rose-purple, October.
Aster novi Belgii. Five feet. Flowers dark purple. October.
Aster n. Belgii “R. Parker”. Four to six feet; large flowers of lilac blue, September to October.
Aster n. Belgii “F. W. Burbidge”. Four to five feet. Flowers mauve-blue, August to September.
Aster n. Belgii “Madonna”. Two to three feet; flowers pure white, August.
Aster horizontalis. Two feet; flowers small, red-purple centres edged with white, stiff wiry growth, September.
Aster linosyris (sometimes classed separately as Linosyris and called “Goldilocks”) is an old-fashioned plant with very abundant small yellow flowers, good for mixed borders, but hardly in keeping with the general character of the “Michaelmas Daisies”.

The following are at present some of the best of the named kinds: Photograph, Mme. Cacheux, Edna Mercia, Purity, Perry’s Pink, Topsawyer, T. Smith.

See Also : Aster

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