Asters ...What gives.... ?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

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...


Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

So many plants in the asteraceae family it'd be hard to say.

This year I worked on some white wood aster and daisy fleabane. I didn't get any germination with the wwa and only a little with the fleabane. I managed 2 seedlings from the fleabane. After I dumped the soil from the failed wood aster I ended up with a plant later in the season where I dumped the soil.

Next year I will be trying the Tahoka daisy and some colorado blue aspen daisy fleabane.

Here's what the LadyBird Johnson plant database says about sowing fleabane, so it is apparently common knowledge that they are difficult to germinate:

Description: Seeds may be sown outside in late fall or the following spring without any cold treatment. Only a small percentage of the seeds will germinate, so sow thickly. Seeds require light to germinate. A more practical method of propagation is division. Separ
Seed Collection: Nutlets develop rapidly in the 2-3 weeks following bloom period. Collect seedheads in a paper bag when the nutlets begin to turn brown. Air-dry, clean and seal in a stored, refrigerated container.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Amanda.

Maybe I'll loosen some soil, dump the seeds, stick in a plant tag and hope for the best.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

says they need light to germinate so that might be what's going wrong as we tend to cover them, don't we? ;)

Let's both have good luck with them.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

by the way - I peeked at your trade lists, and we practically have the same of everything. Let me know if there's anything I can send you overwinter to play with for next spring. I'm slow with trades, but don't expect to start seeds anytime soon.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Amanda -- I have more seeds than i know what to do away ALL my extras in a big swap.

Most of what I have in my list is disabled .... I used to have about 350 different varieties of seeds.
Now i'm getting down to just Agastaches, Penstemons and Salvias -- along with the usual annuals.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

are you in the round robin?

I'm next on the list with Susie's/deejay9's robin going around. Looking forward to it, though I understand that the box I am about to get is mostly vegetables. Not terribly keen on that, but surely there must be something for me!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

no -- on a different site. starlight1153 does one.

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