How to grow gorgeous alpine asters from seeds?

Astra is one of the most popular ornamental plants for a garden or flower bed. This culture has several effective breeding methods. The most effective among them is the cultivation of alpine asters from seeds. It allows you to get a large number of new seedlings with minimal labor and time.

The advantages of the seed method

There are several ways to reproduce alpine aster. The most affordable and easiest is the seed. Usually it does not require the use of additional equipment and materials. All you need is in the household.

Propagating plants with seeds, you can get a large number of seedlings. With proper care, they will all be fully developed.

Landing time

The date of sowing seeds varies depending on many indicators.

By region

In areas with a warm climate, alpine asters begin to be sown in the first May decade. The deadline for the procedure is mid-June. In the northern regions, culture is sown in March - early April. When choosing a date, it is necessary to take into account that the duration of the growing season in Alpine asters varies from 80 to 130 days.

According to the lunar calendar

In accordance with the lunar calendar, the optimal dates for sowing the seeds of the crop in 2019 are:

  • March 12-17, March 19-20;
  • April 6-8, 11-13, 15-17, April 29-30;
  • May 8-17, 21-23, 26-28;
  • June 1-2, 5-6, 9-13, 16-20;
  • July 8-10;
  • November 6-8, 13-18, November 24-25.

It is preferable to refrain from planting asters on the following dates:

  • 21 March;
  • April 5, 19;
  • May 5, 19;
  • 3-4, June 17;
  • 2-3, July 17;
  • November 12-13, November 26-27.

Popular varieties with photos

The most common varieties of alpine asters are:

  • Albus

  • Gloria;

  • Goliath;

  • Rosea

  • Ruber.

Sowing seeds

Perennial alpine aster most often reproduces by seed. The procedure for sowing in open ground is carried out according to the following algorithm:

  1. Seeds are laid out in grooves with a depth of not more than 4 cm.
  2. Plantings are watered with warm, settled water and covered with earth.
  3. The area with planted seeds is covered with a transparent plastic film, which should not be removed until the first shoots appear.

The seedling method of growing crops is also widely practiced. The procedure consists of the following steps:

  1. A week before sowing, the seeds are soaked in a pink potassium permanganate solution, and then wrapped in a moistened tissue for germination.
  2. Pick up plates, boxes or pots for sowing.
  3. For plants, prepare fertile loose soil. When using garden soil, it is also necessary to treat it with a solution of potassium permanganate.
  4. Shallow grooves are made on the surface of the soil, into which seeds that have managed to hatch are laid out.
  5. The seed is sprinkled with a half-millimeter layer of sand and moistened with a spray gun.

Seedling method is a more reliable way to grow alpine aster. However, its implementation takes much more time. The advantage of seed propagation of the crop is the absence of the need for stratification.

After landing care

When sowing in open ground, it is necessary to maintain a protective plastic film until seedlings appear. When 2-3 full leaflets are formed on the plants, the stands need to be thinned out so that between the most strong and normally developed specimens there remains a gap of about 10-15 cm. Plants that are superfluous can not be thrown away . Instead, it is preferable to transplant them to another place.

Immediately after sowing the seeds of aster on the seedlings, the plantings are covered with a film or glass on top and placed in a warm room, where the air temperature is constantly maintained at + 20 ... 22 ° С. After 3-6 days, the first shoots form above the ground, and the temperature is allowed to decrease to + 16 ° C.

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When 3-4 full leaflets are formed on the seedlings, they must be dived. During this procedure, the plants are allowed to slightly prune the roots so that they branch and the root system becomes more dense and powerful. When picking, use the same soil as when planting, but you can add a small amount of ash to it. Watering the plants is carried out sparingly, as the soil dries.

Transplant Care

After 4-5 true leaflets appear on the plants, they become ready for transplanting to a permanent place. For alpine asters, a well-lit area is suitable. The soil should be sufficiently drained. The culture negatively reacts to the increased humidity. Water stagnation can destroy the plantations at all. The plant does not have serious requirements for acidity, but it grows better on calcined soils.

Alpine asters should not be grown in one place for more than 3-4 years, since they begin to grow strongly, which negatively affects the saturation of flowering.

Two weeks before transplanting into the ground, the stands need to be hardened. For this, containers with seedlings must be taken out daily. At first, their stay in the fresh air should be short, but every day it is continuously increasing. Plants should be protected from drafts.

Immediately upon completion of the transplant, they will need regular watering. To do this, use settled water at room temperature. The procedure is best done late at night when the sun sets. Water is carefully poured under the root, trying not to drip on the foliage and stem, so as not to provoke the development of burns.

The soil should always be moist, but not overfilled.

In the first year, plants need to be fed moderately. For alpine asters, two summer cow manure applications will suffice. Closer to autumn, the culture begins to prepare for the winter period, and at this time, the introduction of nitrogen is contraindicated for it. In the autumn period, it is allowed to carry out a single application of ash infusion.

Adult plants should be fed with potash fertilizers or infusion of ash in the spring. These substances will enhance flowering and make it longer. For the same purpose, flowers that have stopped blooming are most often removed. If autumn is long and warm, culture can bloom again. Shortly before the start of winter, this is undesirable, so you need to remove flowers from such plants.

Sometimes young asters manage to form full-fledged flowers for the first year of life, closer to autumn. It is necessary to remove them while passing through the bud stage. If this is not done and flowering is allowed, then the plants will suffer worse adverse factors of the winter period, and next year they will begin to bloom.

Alpine aster seeds ripen by the end of July-August. Seed should be collected from the earliest flowers.

The culture is rarely affected by pests and diseases, but on shaded areas, plants sometimes suffer from powdery mildew. In this case, you need to transplant the alpine aster to a more sunny place. After this, it is necessary to treat the plantings with any biological fungicide. Most often, Fitosporin is used in this capacity.

After five years of growing, you need to take care of replanting plants to a new place. It is advisable to postpone the procedure until the fall. Plantings are removed from the earth with care, being careful not to damage the root system.

Before the onset of winter, it is not recommended to leave the soil bare. Instead, a layer of sawdust and mulch should be spread around the plants. If the stems and foliage have dried, they should be trimmed so that next year they do not interfere with the plant to resume normal development. The culture tolerates low temperatures well and does not need additional shelter. You can only sprinkle the base of the bushes with sand - this will prevent the freezing of the kidneys.

Growing alpine asters from seeds is no big deal. This is a simple and reliable way to get many new plant specimens.

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