Aster FLOWERS SEED, White Upland (Aster ptarmicoides)
White Upland Aster is a perennial that is native to eastern Canada as well as the northeastern and north-central United States. Plants are typically found in dry, calcareous prairies, open woods, bluffs and sandy sites. The small white flowers appear at the ends of stiff branches in late summer. Drought tolerant.
Sowing: Direct sow the seed in late fall, planting it just under the surface and watering it once. If direct sown in the spring, the seed must be stratified first by mixing it with moist sand and stored in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks. To start the stratified seed indoors, sow it in a flat; keep the soil evenly moist and at a temperature of 65-70 degrees F until germination, which should take place within 14-20 days. Transplant the seedlings after the last frost of spring.
Growing: This plant prefers full sun and sandy or dry soil. It tolerates drought well, and should not need watering unless drought conditions persist. Keep in mind that too much moisture may cause root rot. Keep weeds under control, since this plant does not like competition. Mature plants will benefit from division after two or three years of growth. Cut the stalks down to the ground at the end of the growing season for easier growth in the spring. The flowers attract numerous bees and butterflies, providing a valuable source of nectar in late fall. Deer avoid this plant.
Harvesting: Asters make lovely cut flowers. Cut the stems long, choosing flowers that have just opened.