Flowers of the Month-Aster-September

Like specific birth stones everyone also has a specific birth flower. These flowers signify the month we were born in. The Aster is September’s special Flower. Aster is a member of the Asteraceae family, which means “star” in Latin. This name may be given because of the fact that during September these flowers are as common as stars or it may be because of their star-like heads. According to an ancient Greek myth the flowers of aster have appeared on earth when the goddess Asterea looked down upon the earth and wept because she saw no stars there. As her tears struck the ground, they turned into asters.

The bonus of growing aster is its fascinating color variety. This popular cut flower is native to all continents except Australia and, of course, Antarctica. There are more than 600 known aster species which produce large clusters of delicate daisy-like flowers in white, purple, lavender, pink or red color. These showy colors attract insects specially bees and butterflies or birds. The Aster can also be found in a variety of other colors including blue and white.

The strong integrative features and well defined physical structure of aster is thought to display strength, immunity and integration. Aster symbolizes love and daintiness.

The best Season for the plantation of aster flower is from Mid Summer to Early Fall. When all other garden flowers begin to fade in the fall, and you are only left with the green, asters give you a fuller look with their abundant flower clusters and wide range of hues. This frost flower blossoms in late summer or autumn. However the flower is commercially available all year-round and imported from different sources.

Asters are known alternatively as the Michaela’s daisy, starwort and frost flower. The most popular variety of the aster flower is the New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae).These Dainty, daisy-like flowers also act as attractive gap-fillers or ground cover.

Fun and interesting fact:
Some people believe that burning the Aster leaves keep away snakes, where in French tradition these flowers are believed to be a sign of tribute to his bravery when placed on the grave of dead soldiers.

Care and Handling:
Asters don’t need any special care. Like other flowers they also need time and proper amount of water to establish them. In addition you may count fertilizing, pruning and keeping an eye out for pest and diseases in their care. For a more compact and bushier look you may pinch off the main stem and make way for lateral shoots. For established plants, prune off tall gawky stems before it’s time for the buds to appear. Place the asters in a clean container holding a properly prepared solution of fresh flower food.
Just avoid water stress, for this you can thoroughly soak the floral foam into which asters will be inserted. Display asters away from direct sunlight and drafts. With proper care, the average vase life of an aster flower is 5-10 days. Whereas Successive plantings will ensure a long blooming season.

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