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The name Aster comes from a Greek word that means “star”. The flowers heads are star-shaped and resemble the daisy; and come in a variety of colors. This color is displayed in the fall when it is most needed since other flowers begin to fade. The aster plant has about 180 different species in the United States, and with the variety of choices, you can find a plant for almost any garden. There are many uses for this brightly colored flowering plant. Use in borders, rock gardens, or in a special area that has sun to part sun.
Caring for an aster plant is quite easy if you follow a few simple tips and procedures. It is best to plant it in the spring, after the first frost, in well-drained soil that is exposed to full sun to light shade. Even though asters are drought resistant, they need regular watering. Water in the mornings and avoid wetting the leaves since this plant is susceptible to leaf fungus. Fertilize sparingly, and if you want a thick plant with a blanket of blooms, cut stems to half their size in mid-July. This will encourage a bushier plant and more blooms. Once the plant has finished blooming, cut it to the ground and cover with a layer of mulch. The best part of this plant is that it is reliable and comes back year after year. However, it does need to be thinned out every 3-4 years.