The Aster dumosus is a small, lively, ground-covering shrub native to North America that can reach 40-50 cm in height. These asters form dense roundish bushes, very branched, with small green leaves and smooth and widen by means of large stolons in a rapid manner when the conditions are ideal for its development.
In late summer until early autumn, aster dumosus produce a profusion of small daisy-shaped flowers, with a golden yellow center and numerous blue or white petals. In general, plants lose much of the aerial part with the cold, reappearing more vigorously with the arrival of spring. In areas with a particularly harsh climate, the plant can dry completely and not be driven back in early spring. In areas with a mild climate, however, the drying up of the plant is only temporary, and when the vegetative activity starts again there are new green and vigorous stems. These stars have few needs and grow without problems, they find a place of respect in many gardens, also because they bloom when the great pert of the plants are already in vegetative rest.
Very important at the end of winter is pruning, which must be carried out a few centimeters from the ground to eliminate all the portion of dried plant and give new stimulus to the plant to push back.
The ideal exposure for Astro dumosus is in full alone or in partial shade. So let's remember to choose a sunny or partial shade for this plant. Some hours of direct sunlight a day are necessary for good flowering but can become a problem if there are too many, especially during the hottest months of summer. In this period let's remember to water the Astro plants if we don't want them to dry quickly. These plants do not fear the cold and can be planted even in places with cold winters.
Generally the stars are satisfied with the rains, although it is advisable to water them regularly during periods of drought that are too long or in the summer months. At the beginning of spring and autumn it is good to bury at the foot of the plant mature organic fertilizer or slow release granular fertilizer for flowering plants.
Domusus asters, thanks to their adaptability, can grow without problems in any terrain. Wanting to guarantee the plant optimal growth, the soil is well drained, sandy, loose and rich in humus. The pH must be near the neutral and the soil must always be kept rather humid. Before planting the stars, work the soil well, adding some balanced soil and sand, or other draining material. If grown on the terrace of the house in pots or containers, it is possible to use any generic soil. If you want to get vigorous and strong plants, you can fertilize the plant at the beginning of spring with substances rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, manganese and zinc. During the flowering phase, the fertilizing operation should be repeated once a month.
The multiplication of the star occurs by seed in spring; after flowering and at the end of winter it is possible to divide the rhizomes, the new plants thus obtained should be immediately placed at home. Repotting is possible during the spring season, replacing the container in which the aster has simply grown with a larger one.
Astro - Aster dumosus: Pests and diseases
Aster dumosus are quite resistant and therefore are not attacked frequently by pests and disease. However, they can be affected by particular species of caterpillars, called agrotids which ruin their leaves, roots and flowers with their voracity, leading to the destruction of the entire plant. When small holes or signs of gnawing of the leaves are noticed on the plant, it is advisable to intervene with specific insecticide products.
Attention also to water stagnation and to the development of powdery mildew, a mold that appears on the leaves with a whitish color. In more rare cases, pay attention to aphids and mites as well.