Monday, November 28, 2011

Trimming Asters

I've noticed on my stat reports that quite a few people have viewed my blog while searching for, no -not for the mysterious killing squirrels in the rain*, but for trimming asters and pruning asters. I've discussed more than once pruning asters in June, but never mentioned what to do with them come November. I wouldn't want anybody to leave empty-handed, so what can be done now that most asters have quit blooming?

You do not need to cut the asters back until late winter/early spring. But you may prune back the dry stems now if you prefer the neater look of cut perennials. Just cut them a few inches above the ground. There are many types of asters, of course, but all may be cut back after flowering is over. New England and New York Asters and their cultivated counterparts will form clumps which may eventually need to be divided. You can do this in spring. Plants such as the Smooth Aster will form fluffy seed heads that will self-seed whichever way the wind blows. If pulling asters in spring is not your style, cut those back before they go to seed. By the looks of my asters, now is entirely too late!

*actual search that somehow landed here.

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