China Aster Cultivation: Information About China Asters In Gardens

Close Up Of Single China Aster Flower
china aster
(Image credit: thomasmales)

If you’re looking for big, beautiful blooms for your garden or kitchen table, the China aster is a great choice. The China aster (Callistephus chinensis) is an easy-to-grow annual with bright colors and big yields that make it ideal for cutting. Keep reading for some information about China asters that will get you on the way to growing your own.

China Aster Flowers

China aster flowers come in reds, pinks, purples, blues, and whites, with big, puffy blossoms measuring 3-5 inches across. The heavily-clustered petals are thin and pointed, which often gets the flowers confused with mums or regular asters. China aster flowers are especially popular in India because of their bright colors, and are often used in bouquets and flower arrangements.

What Are Growing Conditions For China Aster Plants?

Growing conditions for China aster are easy and very forgiving. China aster plants prefer well-drained, loamy soil, but they can be grown in most soil types. They thrive in anything from full sun to partial shade, and need only moderate watering. China aster plants can grow from 1 to 3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide. They can be planted directly in your garden, but they work very well in containers too.

China Aster Cultivation

China aster plants can be started from seed or purchased as seedlings. In most climates, the China aster produces flowers only in spring and fall, so unless you want to start seeds indoors, purchasing and transplanting seedlings is the best way to ensure spring blossoms. Plant the seedlings outdoors after all chance of frost has passed, and water every 4-5 days. Soon you’ll have large, striking blossoms that can be cut for arrangements or just left in the garden to provide a splash of color. If your China aster plant stops flowering in the heat of summer, don’t give up on it! It will pick up again with the cooler fall temperatures. If you live in a climate with cool summers, you should have China aster flowers all season long.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.