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  • Astra à long terme

    Description and varieties. Perennial asters belong to the family of astroids, that is they are the closest relatives of the famous one-year-old Chinese astra, or calli-stevia. Perennial asters are also called true or true. This rhizome herb yields a good cut, especially in autumn, when there are no other flowers in the open ground.

    These are herbaceous plants with erect dendritic shoots, from 25 to 160 cm in height. Leaves are small, lanceolate, dark green. Inflorescences - baskets 1-5 cm in diameter. Flowers are white, blue, violet, pink and crimson. There are simple, semi-double and double forms. About 500 species of perennial asters are known, but only a few are particularly grown.

    By the time of flowering, asters can be divided into 3 groups:

    early - May-June;

    summer - July-August;

    autumn - September-November.

    From the of the early , the aster alpine, , which blooms before all others, with flowers similar to simple daisies, stands out. This rosette plant is 30 cm high. The basal leaves are spatulate, oblong, stem - small, linear. Single baskets, up to 6 cm in diameter. Tongue flowers are violet, lilac, blue, white, tubular - yellow. In terms of flowering, one of the earliest asters. It blooms in early June. The flowering is abundant and very colorful, lasting up to 30 days. Seeds ripen in August. The most common varieties of alpine asters are lilac aster, white, bluish, etc.

    Of the of the summer, the astra is worthy of attention. perennial with a height of 60 cm. The leaves are linear-lanceolate, regular, sessile. Baskets up to 4 cm in diameter, collected in loose flaps. Lilac flowers are lilac-blue. Blossoms in the second half of the summer, from the end of July to September - the middle of October. Seeds ripen in September. In the summer group astra Bessarabska is also distinguished - the tallest of summer asters with a bush up to 75 cm tall with numerous medium-sized purple inflorescences. A distinctive feature of this type of asters is the dark brownish center of the flower. is the most numerous in the autumn group of perennial asters, which includes amazingly beautiful species that can bloom to the coldest temperatures and go under the snow with flowers. Astra New England( American) forms bushes up to 2 m in height. Stems are stubborn and strongly branched. Leaves are rough. Inflorescences 3-4 cm in diameter, 25-30 pieces each, collected in a thick brush. Blooms in September. The Astra Novi Belgian( Virgin) reaches a height of 40-150 cm. The stems are strongly lignified, strongly branching, glabrous or pubescent. Inflorescences-baskets up to 2 cm in diameter, collected in panicles. Numerous reed flowers are arranged in 5-6 rows, mostly lilac and pink in color. Blooms in September. On each of the shoots, up to 200 flower baskets are blossomed, and so bright and dense that between them, it happens, there is no leaves at all.

    Astra bush reaches a height of 50 cm. The stem is strongly branched with a soft pubescence. The leaves are dark green. Inflorescences 3 cm in diameter, collected in loose flaps over the entire surface of a dense bush. Ligulate flowers are white or light purple. Blooms from mid-September to frost. It has a large number of varieties with different bush heights and coloring of reed flowers and differing in terms of flowering. Especially decorative low( 30-35 cm) bushes are very dense, almost spherical in shape with delicate purple flowers covering the entire bush. Perennial asters are widely used in ornamental horticulture and are especially appreciated for late flowering when there are few flowering plants in the garden.

    Varieties

    Alpine aster

    Alba( white flowers), Superbus( soft blue, large), Troy( dark blue, large), Goliath( light purple, large), Rum( dark purple), Gute( pink), Ruber( bright red-pink), Dunkle Shone( dark purple, almost ink), Wunder( dark purple, large).

    Italian aster

    Heinrich Seibert( light pink), Rose( bright pink), Herman Lene( light violet), Gnome( bright dark purple).

    New England aster

    Bars Pink( rich red), Rubishatz( bright red wine), Constance( dark purple).

    Novobelgijsky aster

    Oktoberfest( blue), Saturn( blue), Amethyst( dark purple), Sunset( lilac-pink), Beachwood Revel( dark dense red).

    Blossom aster

    Niobe( white), Lady Henry Meddock( pink), Diana( light pink), Shpetrose( dark pink), Venus( mauve), Lylek Time( blue), Blue Bouquet( blue).

    In the flower design, asters are used in a variety of ways. Very impressive, they look in autumn in landscape compositions in combination with coniferous and evergreen shrubs. The compact shape of the bush makes it possible to widely use asters singly and in groups. You can create flower groups from some asters, picking up the plants according to the color and height of the bushes. It should be remembered that tall varieties are bare from below, so it is desirable before them to plant lower perennials that preserve foliage for a long time. Perennial asters are exceptionally frost-resistant. In the autumn, when frosts damage the inflorescences of gladiolus, dahlia and other flower crops, asters are still fresh and give an excellent cut.

    Cultivation, reproduction and care. Asters are very photophilous, so they should be planted in open, well-lit areas of the sun. Growing in the penumbra is possible, but not recommended. Asters prefer loamy, medium-heavy soils, rich in humus, the plants are demanding of the availability of nutrients and mineral elements, neutral acid reaction of the soil is desirable. Asters need a sufficiently moistened permeable soil environment. Unsuitable areas with stagnant waters are unsuitable for them. To the soil are undemanding, they develop well in deeply treated areas. Rhizomes in asters grow rapidly, the plantings become thickened, so in 4-5 years the plant is recommended to be planted. In one place perennial asters grow 5-6 years. Depending on the species, they are planted according to the scheme of 20 x 30 or 50 x 80 cm. Tall and sprawling plants are planted less often, and small-sized plants are planted more often. Caring for plantations during the vegetation period consists in the periodic loosening of the soil in order to prevent excessive compaction and formation of a soil crust. At the same time, weeds are removed in the inter-row and near the bushes. Water the plants as needed, given that the longest requirement for water perennial asters is experienced in droughty periods and with increased growth of the vegetative mass. Plants are responsive to the application of phosphorus fertilizers and lime, to various fertilizing during the growing season. Asters can be propagated by seeds, but the seedlings are weak and do not always give good sort material. Varietal features of plants are best preserved when propagating by dividing shrubs. Usually, shrubs that grow in the same place for 5-6 years are divided. Aster alpine and Italian divide and transplant in early spring or after flowering. Divide every 5 years. The aster of autumn flowering is divided and transplanted only in the spring. Numerous root offspring can be used as a planting material. Bushes easily divide their hands into separate parts, where there should be a kidney and several roots. The division of the rhizomes is carried out in the spring and autumn. In the autumn division, late varieties bloom only the next year. Small pieces of rhizomes of rare varieties can first be grown, and in a year planted in a permanent place. Distance when planting tall varieties 60 x 100, undersized - 30 x 50 cm. Good results are obtained with green propagation. On the cuttings use young shoots, appearing around the bushes during the spring and summer. Cuttings from such shoots quickly take root. Asters grow rapidly, forming powerful bushes. Tall grades of perennial asters must be tied up.

    Aster perennial( sebyabriki)

    Autumnal asters include New England and New Belgian asters. This frost-resistant, photophilous plants with lilac, violet, pink, violet-red inflorescences of small size( 3-6 cm in diameter).Distinguish forms tall and curb.

    Propagation by the division of bushes, cuttings in spring, and seeds when sowing them in the fall. Seeds quickly lose their germination capacity, so it is better to sow them soon after harvest.

    At one place, plants retain their decorative qualities until five to six years, after which they are renewed by sowing seeds or dividing bushes.