Floral fuddlement

Gardeners love asters as part of their autumn floral palette.  Yet these native asters are blooming now – in the spring!

These specimens were purchased last summer and planted in the fall in Florida. Why might they be blooming out of season?

Reader Ginny Stibolt contributed today’s puzzle.  If you’d like to be a guest inquisitor on our blog, send photos and explanatory text to Linda Chalker-Scott.

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors Books: http://www.sustainablelandscapesandgardens.com

5 thoughts on “Floral fuddlement”

  1. Actually, I purchased and planted these asters in October, which is still early fall here (Zone 8/9). Our first frost is not until mid-to-late December.

  2. Their roots haven’t stuck their toes into the native soil yet? Not sure, but potted A. laevis ‘Bluebird’ that my wholesaler grows are usually in flower early (as the ones I bought three days ago are).

  3. Since they were planted in Florida, I’m thinking that they didn’t die completely back, so when their spring started, the plants already srill had some substance to them. And being under short days, initiated flowering.

  4. I have A. chilensis in my garden, and last year it bloomed only in the fall. This year it’s blooming right now. Since it didn’t die back completely this winter but did the previous winter, I think Ed is right.

  5. I have tried planting asters in my yard a couple times but they never did well. I don’t know if it’s not the right soil, if it’s too hot here or if our winters here in SE Texas are just not cold enough for them too completely die back. But I might give it another try again next fall.

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