Winter Sowing forum: winter sowing Asters

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Name: Terese
Central Florida, zone9b (Zone 9b)
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Butterflies Cat Lover Bee Lover
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tcs1366
Nov 5, 2011 8:11 PM CST
I posted this on DG a while back and got no answers...

I've tried a bunch of varieties of Aster -- and have gotten ZERO germination, with the exception of NE Asters Purple Dome ... those TALL purple ones.

Is there a trick to winter sowing these?
do the seeds have to be fresh?

I dont get it.

I'm beginning to sort last years seeds, and I found two small packets ... one, "Dark Beauty" i'd love to have, but i feel it would be a waste of time to try yet again.

thanks for any info...
Terese --Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Nov 6, 2011 6:57 AM CST
I don't know, Terese, I never tried them. I have only one aster, "Bluebird" which is propagated vegetatively, doesn't set seed.

I thought asters were supposed to be easy? Clothier says
Aster alpinus, amellus, azureus, coloradoensis, cordifolius, delavayi (diplostephoides), farreri, laevis, lateriflorus v. horizontalis, linariifolius, novae-angliae, novi-belgii, oblongifolius, pilosus, sagittifolius v drummondii, sericeus, sibiricus, simplex, tongolensis, and x fricartii , Sow at 20ºC (68ºF), germination slow

Aster bigelovii, divaricatus, ericoides, linosyris, macrophyllus, ptarmicoides, puniceous , turbinellus, and umbellatus, Sow at 20ºC (68ºF) in light, if no germination in 3-4 wks, move to -4 to +4ºC (24-39ºF) for 2-4 wks

Aster stracheyi , Sow at 20ºC (68ºF), germinates in less than two wks

That info sounds like they should be perfect candidates for wintersowing. Have you tried sowing in both spring and winter?

I tried platycodon for 5 years, never had one sprout. Everybody says they're easy but they don't seem to want to be in my yard.

Karen
Name: Terese
Central Florida, zone9b (Zone 9b)
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Butterflies Cat Lover Bee Lover
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tcs1366
Nov 6, 2011 11:43 AM CST
yes -- i've tried winter and spring. I've left the pots until Fall, and zip-nada-nothing.

weird.. sometimes I have a tough time with seeds that others can grow with ease.... after 3 yrs of trying.. I did finally get JoePye Weed.
Maybe I'll give the Asters one more year. ... but yeah -- seems they should easily germinate once it warmed up.
Terese --Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Nov 6, 2011 1:51 PM CST
Maybe try one jug in summer? I have been known to start some things in summer. I just use the regular WSing method, milk jugs, but I add lots of vent holes and keep them in mostly shade. Then I plant out seedlings in fall. It works great for perennials that bloom in the second year.

I'm sorry I can't offer any real useful information or tips Terese. Hopefully someone else will.

Karen
Name: Terese
Central Florida, zone9b (Zone 9b)
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Butterflies Cat Lover Bee Lover
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tcs1366
Nov 6, 2011 3:11 PM CST
thanks -- i'll give that a try.
Terese --Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi

Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Nov 6, 2011 7:11 PM CST
sorry I am no help either... never tried them
Name: Lily
(Zone 11)
cornflower
Jan 19, 2012 11:27 PM CST
Hello Terese and everyone, Group hug
have you successfully sowed aster now? Green Grin!
I have sowed 500+ aster seeds. but i can't see anything sprouted. Crying
I have done cold stratification, scarify the seeds, or just plant them directly. but the result is nothing. Crying
I have tried to use compost, sand, peat. but the result is the same. Crying
I wonder how I can sow aster seed. Confused
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Jan 20, 2012 5:54 AM CST
Thoughts:
-are you certain the seeds are viable?
-are you talking about past years, or all 500 seeds sown this year?
-do you know what kind of aster?
-where do you live?
-have you tried using a good commercial bagged potting mix?
-what kind of containers, and what conditions?

This is what Clothier says
"Aster alpinus, amellus, azureus, coloradoensis, cordifolius, delavayi (diplostephoides), farreri, laevis, lateriflorus v. horizontalis, linariifolius, novae-angliae, novi-belgii, oblongifolius, pilosus, sagittifolius v drummondii, sericeus, sibiricus, simplex, tongolensis, and x fricartii , Sow at 20ºC (68ºF), germination slow

Aster bigelovii, divaricatus, ericoides, linosyris, macrophyllus, ptarmicoides, puniceous , turbinellus, and umbellatus, Sow at 20ºC (68ºF) in light, if no germination in 3-4 wks, move to -4 to +4ºC (24-39ºF) for 2-4 wks

Aster stracheyi , Sow at 20ºC (68ºF), germinates in less than two wks "

If you answer some of my questions, it might help folks give suggestions.

Karen
Name: Lily
(Zone 11)
cornflower
Jan 20, 2012 8:48 PM CST
Hello Karen and everyone, Group hug
I am not certain whether the seeds are viable or not.
I sowed 3 different aster seeds indoor last November 2011.
I sowed 150 seeds from each packet.
The packet shows this mark -> "Sow by 2012"
There are still remaining seeds in the packet now. Big Grin

I thought the seeds may not be viable anymore, so this January, I sow another seed packet from different store.
The packet shows this mark. -> "Sow by 2014"
I sow only 50 seeds from this packet.
It's been a week. I thought I have failed germinating these seeds. Thumbs down
But, after I see your post, maybe I will wait for another weeks.

I live in USDA zone 11. It's 77ºF here. Big Grin

I forget the latin name. But I remember the packet say that it's HHA (Half Hardy Annual).
and this is the one type aster seed I sowed.
Thumb of 2012-01-21/cornflower/6577d7

I have not tried using a good commercial bagged potting mix.

I used potting tray, fill it with peat, sow the seed, cover it lightly, and water it carefully from above.

Thanks.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Jan 20, 2012 10:35 PM CST
very pretty
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Jan 21, 2012 10:30 AM CST
Wow, they are pretty.

I've never tried asters from seed so, so I'm no help there. I also live in zone 6 so I really can't relate to gardening conditions in your climate if trying to germinate them outside. (By contrast to your 77°, it's 24° here. We had an ice storm overnight and our world, including my whole house, is covered with ice)

My only suggestion would be trying some commercial potting mix or seed starter mix, maybe they'd like the growing conditions better than straight peat. When you said your "covered lightly", did you mean with more peat or with plastic? Covering with plastic should help promote germination by retaining humidity. Clothier does say "germination slow" so if you hold on to that tray for a while some might sprout eventually.

I'm sorry that I don't have anything more helpful to add. Hopefully someone else will.

Karen
Name: Lily
(Zone 11)
cornflower
Jan 24, 2012 2:35 AM CST
Hello Allison,
Thank you. Smiling
I hope I can germinate the seed. Sad

Hello Karen,
I covered it lightly with the peat.

maybe I will try your suggestion first.
1. cover with plastic
2. using seed starter mix

Thank you Karen for the help. Green Grin!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Jan 24, 2012 4:34 AM CST
Cornflower, I have to say, I use regular potting mix, rather than seed starter, for everything. But covering the container with clear plastic, or putting them into a clear plastic bag, might help. The added humidity tends to nudge most seeds to sprout.

Karen
Name: Terese
Central Florida, zone9b (Zone 9b)
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Butterflies Cat Lover Bee Lover
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tcs1366
Mar 7, 2012 8:49 AM CST
Due to a very long vacation... i have only WS'ed one bucket. I did 4 types of penstemons in one gallon jug.

the directions called for 5 weeks in the dark, so i put them in the garage on a shelf before i left in January. came home last Saturday and found 1 out of the 4 had already germinated.

I'm thinking about getting some seeds started, but just have not had the time yet.... and heck -- I dont think we've really had much of a winter yet... though i do know the ground 'out back' is frozen, or was a few days ago....

the flower beds by the house, i do not think are frozen... one of my clematis has started sending up new growth, as have my rose bushes.

I'm really hoping we dont get a hard freeze.
Terese --Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Mar 7, 2012 9:29 AM CST
Terese, of the mere 9 jugs of perennials I've sown, mostly older seeds, I have no sprouts yet. I kept them in full shade to prevent early sprouting. I moved them to morning sun yesterday since it's getting to be a more normal time of year for sprouts. The high today is supposed to be 66°. !

Like many places, winter has been unusually warm here. We've had some sporadic cold days but no more than that. I don't think my soil ever froze.

Karen
Name: Terese
Central Florida, zone9b (Zone 9b)
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Butterflies Cat Lover Bee Lover
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tcs1366
Mar 7, 2012 10:08 AM CST
I'm thinking i just may by-pass perennials this year and just do annuals.
have to choose the tomatoes i'll sow this year.. i have way too many seeds.

then the usual Agastaches, Salvias, marigolds, Zinns, cosmos and i'm sure a few others.
Terese --Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi

Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Mar 12, 2012 2:29 PM CST
I haven't tried sowing perennial asters from seed, but I'm growing some annuals this year. Chinese Asters Perfection mix and Princess mix; straight from the packet, germinated in 12 days, sown in damp vermiculite, under cover, outdoors.

Hope this helps. Smiling


[edited to add that they were sown outdoors]
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[Last edited by chelle - Mar 12, 2012 2:31 PM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Mar 18, 2012 12:22 PM CST
I've never had any luck with Asters, either, except for the Chinese Asters, and the seeds do NOT keep well. So far the only ones that have germinated are the ones I harvested from last year's plants. And they sprouted quickly and I had nearly 100% germination from the fresh seed. I also read somewhere that the blue ones have a lower success rate than other colors.
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