"Astra" in Greek means "star." Legends ascribe Astra kinship with the stars: growing out of the fallen from the sky stardust, asters night whispering with heavenly sisters.
Annual aster, or Kallistefus Chinese (Callistephus chinensis), belongs to the family Compositae. Wild aster with blue, carmine and purple ray flowers of Northeast China and Korea imported by Europe, served as the starting material for breeding.
Derived varieties and forms asters different colors, including with double blooms, have been used as ornamental plants in gardens of Europe from the XVIII century. However, the real popularity came to astram in the XIX century, when France appeared gorgeous Peony- asters, and active breeding work on the creation of new varieties began in Germany and the USA.
At the moment there are about 800 different varieties of asters: dwarf and tall, simple and double, all sorts of shapes and colors. The basis of the classification of garden asters put inflorescence form, color, shape and height of the bush, commercial signs. For decorative effect inflorescences modern assortment of asters is divided into 3 classes: Tubular (only tubular flowers in inflorescences), Transient (tubular and ligulate flowers), Reed (only ligulate flowers).
Classes are divided on the basis of the structure of inflorescences on 10 types (Simple, coronal, semi-double, Curly, Ray, Ball, imbricate, tubular, Needle, hemispherical), which include 45 sortotipov wearing poetic names (Margarita, Edelweiss, Fantasy, Princess, pom-poms, Queen of the Market, Art, Radio, Victoria, et al.). Distinguish nemahrovye, semi-double, double and gustomahrovye varieties of asters.
Largest inflorescence varieties of asters are divided into small (up to 4 cm in diameter), medium (up to 6 cm), large (up to 10 cm) and very large (more than 10 cm.). Amazing variety of aster blossoms accompanied by a rich palette of color shades and varieties: white, cream, yellow, apricot, orange, pink, red, magenta, blue, blue, purple: different shape and bushes have asters: pyramidal, columnar, oval, spreading.
For the duration of the growing season and time of flowering varieties of asters are divided into early, middle and late - from July to October asters adorn the garden.
For economic use of distinguished varieties of asters:
- Srezochnyh (beautiful blossoms on long stalks strong);
- Casing, (low compact shrubs with lots of simultaneity and dolgotsvetuschih inflorescences);
- Department (the average height of the bushes for planting in flower beds, with peduncles, Godea in Cut);
From complex classification asters head spinnin! And before the storefront with the seeds of various varieties of asters - one another better - florists all lose their heads. Astra is a recognized queen of the autumn flower garden, making it a riot of colors when in the garden next to nothing is no longer in bloom. As well as the dwarf and dwarf varieties of asters are remarkably growing and long blooming in pots on a sunny balcony, in window boxes. Cut the full dissolution of the inflorescence asters, connected in a lush bouquets retain freshness for at least two weeks, making the house bright colors and delicate mouthwatering smell of autumn.
Growers appreciate aster for simplicity at the temperature of about 20 degrees aster seeds germinate in a few days; shoots asters and hardened seedlings tolerate brief frosts to -3-5 degrees; aster seedlings already in the phase of 4-5 leaves flower buds (apical bud nipping promotes growth of side shoots); Young plants tolerate transplanting in the budding phase and even flowering.
For more early flowering grown seedlings; sown directly into the ground aster (spring in greenhouses or under winter) will bloom later. Aster seeds quickly lose their germination, so it is best to take them from the last collection. ASTRA most any well-drained garden soil in a sunny, sheltered from the wind; they do not like acidic soil and stagnant water.
You can not fertilize asters fresh manure, thickened planting and plant them for two consecutive years in the same place - it promotes disease asters. Frequent loosening the soil around the stems of asters; weeding; infrequent, but abundant watering during dry summer (in the water add a little potassium permanganate); protection from pests and diseases; 3 feeding (every 2 weeks) complete mineral fertilizer in June and July; regular removal uvyadyayuschih flowers and garter tall varieties - promote good growth and abundant flowering asters preserve their decorative until late autumn.
Rapid recovery of plants after transplanting allows in late summer and autumn asters changing to replace annuals in flower bed thinning. Dwarf asters planted in late autumn with a lump of land in pots, long more will delight bright blooms on a sunny windowsill and glazed loggia.