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'Michaelmas Daisies' or Asters?

70 comments


What’s in a name? I always called them ‘Michaelmas Daisies’ in the past, but really, they come under the latin name ‘Aster’ which is a familiar name, anyway!

So where shall I start? There are so many different Asters that it’s difficult.

This time of year, you can buy small pots of anonymous species – in very pretty colours! They brighten up a border in the ‘gap’ time when summer flowers are going over and getting cut back, and the autumn is only just getting going with its bright leaves and new pretty bedding plants, put in ready for the winter.

You can team these up with beautiful foliage plants like grasses and Heucheras. Are they just for one season? No – they’ll die back, and then re-appear next year!

Like this pink one from last year…

Or this one from three years ago – it has spread and it can be split soon!

Perennial Asters come in many colours, from white, through the pink shades, mauves, almost blues, and on to purple. Their sizes range from a tiny alpine plant to a tall floppy ‘needs staking’ whopper!

Alpine Aster – 3" tall

Aster novae-angliae ‘Herbstschnee’ – 1.2m tall

Single flowers…

Double flowers…

Muted colours…

Aster novae-angliae ‘Alma Potschke’

Startlingly bright colours…

Aster amellus ‘Pink Zenith’

Large flowers…

Aster lateriflorus ‘Lady in Black’

Tiny flowers…

And the one in my garden that flowers for the longest time? This one – A. frikartii ‘Monch’ which is still going strong, and has been in flower since June!

Aster frikartii ‘Monch’

A word of warning – ‘Michaelmas Daisies’ have a bad name for getting mildew. If you want to buy some that are pretty mildew resistant, then avoid the A. novi-belgii cultivars. There are many, many other beauties to choose from!

Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’

My new one, which is just opening its buds now.

I love them – can’t you tell?

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Comments

 

Cheers Spritz...that's what happened to mine ... the dreaded mildew. I wnat to get them back in my garden not only for their name but they remind me of my childhood, visiting my Grandma.

6 Oct, 2009

 

Lovely happy bright photos, Spritz, and useful information...thank you :o)

6 Oct, 2009

 

You're welcome!

Fluff - I have heard that spraying the mildewed ones with very diluted milk will help. I'm not sure if this is true, but it's worth a try.

I remember the old-fashioned ones, as well - usually small mauve flowers, weren't they! Aren't we lucky to have all the new ones they've bred!

6 Oct, 2009

 

lovely blog Sritz...we has icing ones on our wedding cake . i found a big clump of the oldies growing wild recently...the cuttings seem to be doing fine....lol

6 Oct, 2009

 

I love them too :)) Thanks for the blog Spritz...my favourite has to be Aster frickartii "Monch"....it's such a gorgeous, long lasting colour :)

6 Oct, 2009

 

Me too Fluff,they were the really tall ones and they seemed to flower forever ! Still love the lilac ones best.
Spritz yours are all beauties and they are gorgeous with the heuchera :)

6 Oct, 2009

 

Great displays Spritz I prefer the name M D thought it prettier than Aster but its 'not proper' shame.

6 Oct, 2009

 

I suppose it's because they used to be in flower at Michaelmas, isn't it? End of this month...I think...

6 Oct, 2009

 

I thought michaelmas was mid september ? That is why I normally am so pleased if they are still flowering in this week for my birthday :) Mine are very late this year .
Just had a look michaelmas is 29th Sept.

6 Oct, 2009

 

Ooops! Wrong month! Sorry....

6 Oct, 2009

 

Time is flying by lol ! I still think it's september !

6 Oct, 2009

 

That's because it was soooo warm today (here at least!)

6 Oct, 2009

 

Lovely blog Spritz with great photos and planting ideas

6 Oct, 2009

 

I love them as well but have to admit I always refer to them as Michaelmas Daises,old habits die hard......

6 Oct, 2009

 

LOL, I was looking for asters all summer, but only things I could see like them were michaelmas daises, I was going to get some but decided to wait for some asters to come in, none ever did lol, as homer simpson would say "Doh"..

6 Oct, 2009

 

Lovely blog Spritz, we dont have any aster's .....yet. but now I know more about it I wont be just buying plants and plonking them in, I should be able (with GoY's help) to have an organised, year round flower display.
PS. I was told that 1 part milk to 9 parts water sprayed liberally over your mildew will do the job. (I was given that advice for my peas!)

7 Oct, 2009

 

thanks Spritz an enjoyable blog, I have them growing in the garden and love them this time of year, Lady in Black is one of my favourites for it's tiny stars :)))

7 Oct, 2009

 

Love Asters too :-))))))
They've always been a favourite of mine !

7 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks - I enjoyed writing this!

Ian - thank you for confirming the 'diluted milk' theory! That will help lots of people. :-))

7 Oct, 2009

 

Your very welcome. :~))

7 Oct, 2009

 

Good blog spritz. I always look forward to a late burst of colour from my asters and have planted about a dozen varieties all together in 'aster corner' to give a good display. They all need dividing now, a job that should be done in early spring as dividing them in autumn will lead to losses (presumably they have spent all their energy flowering).
Another thing I found is not to plant some of the smaller flowered species (such as aster divaraticus) with the larger flowered ones - they just look weedy in comparison but look better if planted well away from their cousins

7 Oct, 2009

 

Yes - that sounds spot on, Andrew! The comparison wouldn't help the ones with tiny flowers. I just wish that the ones you can buy in small pots had their cultivar name on the label.

7 Oct, 2009

 

I've noticed lots of shorter ones for sale this autumn, all named after islands (Tonga for example) but most of them had mildew so I wouldn't recommend them :-(

7 Oct, 2009

 

Louise has that! I wonder if hers has mildew? I don't think it has. Yes, I've seen some, as well. Not mildewed ones, though! If they are prone to it, I won't be buying any.

7 Oct, 2009

 

You know that I know next to very little about flowers but I would have thought that (the same as for veggies) planting to close together would increase the risk of mildew in susceptible varieties?

7 Oct, 2009

 

Another wonderful blog Spritz. I'm glad you sorted it out for me as I have a coule in the garden that I bought as Michaelmas Daisies and a couple that I bought as Asters and up till now I have been confused as, apart from the colours, I couldn't tell the difference.

7 Oct, 2009

 

Well, at least that's sorted out! :-))

7 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks Barbara keep saying i'll get some and thats as far as i get, and thanks to Ian for the info on milk and water .

7 Oct, 2009

 

Hi Carol, I only backed up what had already been said by Spritz. Lol :~))

7 Oct, 2009

 

I knew I'd heard of the remedy, but I didn't know how much to dilute it.

Go on, Carol - treat yourself to one or two of the little ones in pots!

7 Oct, 2009

 

lovely blog and smashing photos spritz.

7 Oct, 2009

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Sbg. :-))

7 Oct, 2009

 

Just call them lovely.

8 Oct, 2009

 

Good name, Gg1 - why not??

8 Oct, 2009

 

Love your blog Spritz. I've been confused with the name Aster and Michaelmas Daisy as my mum has always referred to asters as annuals and Michaelmas Daisies as perennials. In fact, I asked Louise the question last week and she confirmed what you've said in the blog. I have the very tall ones and the small ones but find the tall ones to be quite difficult to keep tidy.

8 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks, Dawn. There are annual Asters - they are rather shaggy-looking flowers.

I agree - my white ones flop even tho' I've put in supports!

8 Oct, 2009

 

On the subject of supports Barbara, can you remind me where you bought your lovely obelisk from, which you have within your new bed, thanks

8 Oct, 2009

 

Yes - Ferndale Lodge - they send a catalogue out. If you need any phone numbers/website addresses etc, just ask.

8 Oct, 2009

 

Wonderful, thank you so much. Hopefully I'll be able to find them on the Web. :-)

8 Oct, 2009

 

:-))

8 Oct, 2009

 

As you know I love any daisy like flowers, but have only one aster, was put off by the mildew thing, you have some delightful ones, wondering how to squeeze some in.........

8 Oct, 2009

 

Michaelmas Daisies grow very well on my slightly alkaline /clay soil and I try to get the ones that are mildew resistant . But I can't grow the annual bedding Asters, Some of them wilt and die.

9 Oct, 2009

 

I wonder why? That's a shame!

Dd - you will. Would you like to borrow my shoe-horn? LOL.

9 Oct, 2009

 

I like them aswell. I don't have many - only 2 types now. Some died off after I moved :o( I like the tall feathery ones. I used to have them in mauve and white in the old garden. They looked so graceful , and seemed to attract lots of insects.

9 Oct, 2009

 

Which ones have you got, Hywel?

9 Oct, 2009

 

I don't know their names. I've had them a long time and they originally came from my father's garden. I've recently put photos of the taller one but the other one is almost identical except that it's shorter.
They are similar to the one in your 3rd photo I think But a bit darker. If I get some different ones I'd like to have dwarf ones so that they don't take up too much room in my garden

9 Oct, 2009

 

There are so many named ones in my books - I think it would be almost impossible to give yours names....unless they were particular colours or forms, like 'Alma Potschke' or 'Monch'!

9 Oct, 2009

 

I think so too but I don't mind really. I know what they look like so I can avoid buying duplicates.

9 Oct, 2009

 

That big clump could take splitting in the spring, by the look of its size! Maybe you could give a piece of it to Beryl? :-))

9 Oct, 2009

 

I love the ranges of purple/lavender pink! very pretty!

10 Oct, 2009

 

Yes the clump has got big . It's only been there since last year but it's in new topsoil with added farmyard manure. Everything has grown too big there and will need dividing.

10 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks, Raquel.

Hywel, the recommendation is to split clumps every three years, but it certainly looks ready, doesn't it!

10 Oct, 2009

 

I didn't know that. Thank you. Yes I think this is ready for splitting now, like everything else in the same patch. Do you want some ... lol

10 Oct, 2009

 

Ooohh!! Yes please when you do split it! It's a tall one, isn't it! I know you thought I wouldn't - but I would! lol...

10 Oct, 2009

 

Would you like me to send it soon ( after the flowers have faded ) or in the spring. ? I don't mind when. I think I'll be moving it later this autumn. I want to get on with sorting the patch out.
It's between 2 and 3 feet tall

10 Oct, 2009

 

You might have to chop it hard back to post it, Hywel - but anyway, planting perennials at this time of year is good, isn't it. Thanks.

10 Oct, 2009

 

I'll let you know when I've posted it after the flowers die.

10 Oct, 2009

 

Thank you, Hywel. :-))

10 Oct, 2009

 

Lovely blog Spritz I have a very sad looking one in the garden it's got mildew. I think it's in the wrong place...
I think it will have to come out :0(

12 Oct, 2009

 

Oh dear. What a sad message, Sue! Maybe if you buy a new one, try the mildew-resistant ones. Good luck!

12 Oct, 2009

 

I like the look of Aster frikartii ‘Monch’ I will give it a go :0)

12 Oct, 2009

 

That's the BEST!! I hope you can find one! :-))

12 Oct, 2009

 

Hywel - wait until spring before you split your asters (that's the book recommendation). As they flower so late in the year, I guess they haven't got enough energy to make it through the winter if you split them now

12 Oct, 2009

 

Oh dear - I'll just have to be patient!

12 Oct, 2009

 

I like the double pink one with the heuchera, but generally, I have to admit I loathe and detest michaelmas daisies and never, ever plant them. I think its a hangover from when I was a child - once they started flowering, it meant winter and even as a kid, I'd get depressed about that... pathetic really, I suppose, perhaps I need to rethink my views on asters, cos that double pink is really lovely;-)

13 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks, Bamboo - I wonder if you'll like the new one I got today?? I shall post a photo this evening. :-))

13 Oct, 2009

 

This blog always cheers me up its so 'summer'

10 Jun, 2010

 

Thank you, Denise! Hywel sent me a clump of his large one earlier this year, and I grew it on in two pots. I'm hoping for nice tall purple Asters later! :-)))

10 Jun, 2010

 

I love Asters as they arrive when so much else has gone

10 Jun, 2010

 

They're so bright and cheerful - and reliable, too. :-))

10 Jun, 2010

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