Asters (Symphyotrichum), also known as New England asters, are shallow rooted so there isn’t too much digging required to get them in the ground. A hole roughly twice the width of the pot should suffice at a depth of 6 to 8 inches for planting. Compost, cow manure, and peat moss may be added at time of planting but asters are pretty forgiving when it comes to soil requirements and do well in a wide range of soil types as long as they are not planted in wet areas.
What You Need To Plant Asters
A good shovel and maybe a small garden trowel is all that the home gardener would need to plant asters. Choose a bright, sunny location with plenty of direct light and access to a water source.
Where to Plant Asters
Asters prefer full sun to reach their maximum potential and do best planted in an area with well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. They are shallow rooted so they should not be planted too deeply, 4 to 6 inches at most.
Depending on the variety, asters should be planted 1 to 4 feet apart as some varieties will spread by way of underground rhizomes. They may be planted individually or in groups of 3 to 5, depending on the gardener’s planting layout. A single aster plant can eventually form a clump that is 2 to 3 feet wide. Asters are strong-stemmed woody perennials that rarely require staking and should be planted at least 2 to 3 feet away from any structure or other perennials to allow them ample room to spread and not overcrowd the area.
Steps To Plant Asters
Once you have located a planting site in full sun, dig a hole roughly 2 to 3 times the size of the pot. Set the asters in the hole and backfill with native soil. You can add a topdressing of organic compost around the root zone to conserve moisture and improve soil texture.
Step 1 - Excavate a hole roughly 2 times the size of pot.
Step 2 - Add peat moss and cow manure.
Step 3 - Incorporate amendment into existing soil.
Step 4 - Place aster in hole.
Step 5 - Water well.
When to Plant Asters
Asters are best planted in spring and fall in the South and anytime from early spring through fall in the North. Asters may be planted at any time of day, but planting in the heat of the day should be avoided. If planting asters in the heat or hot days of summer, water well and avoid adding any commercial fertilizer to the planting medium as this may potentially burn the plants roots and kill the plant. Water well after planting.
Asters are easily divided as they are shallow rooted and can be transplanted with minimal effort. Plants may be divided using a shovel or garden trowel. They are best transplanted in early spring to allow them ample time to adjust to their new growing space and develop new roots before the heat of the summer. Water well after transplanting.