Annual plant, it requires a soil that is always well moist and a lot of light.
Dear green readers, from today “Let’s make our land FLOWER!”. Here we are with the new initiative that follows “Let’s make the vegetable garden at home”: after having given you the seeds to grow and enjoy different types of vegetables at home, from this week we will give you, for 4 outings, seeds to grow beautiful flowers !
The realization of this part of our initiative is possible thanks to the renewed collaboration of Franchi Sementi, a leading company in the sector based in Grassobbio, in the province of Bergamo, which supplies us with the sachets attached to the newspaper. And thanks to the support of another company very attentive to sustainability: Technoprobemultinational specialized in microelectronics based in Cernusco Lombardone (Lecco).
Astro American Beauty: a great beautiful flower with delicate colors
Let’s start with a flower that already in its name recalls beauty: Astro American Beauty. In our envelope we have different colors, obviously each suit represents a color. Our Astro seeds should be planted between March and May, with flowering which, if the conditions are optimal, can occur from June to October.
The Astro is an annual plant, suitable for this season, and therefore once the cold arrives it will stop producing but also living and for the following year it will be sown again.
It can be grown on the ground or in pots: in the latter case we will have to use a pot of at least 30 cm in diameter to have a beautiful flowering. On the ground or in larger pots, in fact, between one plant and another, you need to leave 30 cm of distance. If we sow on the ground, it is advisable to first germinate them separately and bury them later: by broadcasting them directly to the ground, many seeds could be lost, not germinate or be eaten.
In the pot we can put more seeds: if we let them all be born we will have more plants of reduced size, perhaps with different colors, otherwise we can leave only one, uprooting the others, so as to make it grow larger.
Returning to our vase, we can use a normal flower soil available in all stores. The rule is always to fill the pot with earth up to a finger below the edge, so as not to let the water out.
Another general rule already learned with vegetables concerns the depth where to place the seed: two or three times the size of the seed, in this case no more than half a centimeter. Then cover and keep the earth well moist, not too wet, until the seed sprouts.
The plant requires good exposure to light, preferably not direct sunlight; it can also stand in partial shade but this could lead to a more limited flowering. We can put the pots in a locker or leave them in the sun only in the morning.
We will see our seedling appear after 25 days, even 15 if the conditions are optimal, such as 20 degrees of temperature. In fact, we must be careful that it does not drop below 15 degrees, this slows down germination. If the plants struggle to be born, we risk that the seeds rot and therefore die.
Once our seedling is born, we will wet regularly keeping the soil always moist. After one month from germination, however, the plant will be stronger and more able to withstand dryness.
Another general rule concerns fertilization: if we use pots, especially in spring and summer, every 15 days it is advisable to fertilize, using products that can be easily recovered in specialized shops. This is because in the pots the earth does not recover those nutrients that are brought by the microorganisms present in an open ground.
Eventually we will have a plant of about 30-40cm in diameter and 50-70cm in height. They are bedding flowers and therefore less suitable for cutting, with a not very long stem. The plant is robust so it should support itself without a stake, but if it develops too quickly it may tend to fall and therefore we can use a support.
If the climate is mild, we could have blooms until November, then with the arrival of winter the plant dries up and dies.
One last tip: we can eliminate from our plant the uglier flowers, with a dry cut, to stimulate the growth of more beautiful ones.
An ancient “star” that represents eternal love
The star belongs to the asteraceae family. The name aster derives from the Greek and means star flower, it was introduced by the botanist Carlo Linneo in 1700, but this name was known since ancient times, during the Roman imperial era.
Asters are annual bushy plants that reach a height of between 40 and 90 cm, depending on the species. The flowers are similar in shape to daisies, from which they differ in the large number of petals, usually pink or lilac, but there are varieties whose flowers are white with a yellow center.
In the language of flowers, the star symbolizes intellectual depth and eternal love.
Among the other species, the best known are: the aster alpinum, a small plant whose dimensions do not exceed 25 cm, which owes its second name to the flowering period; aster yunnanensis, a plant that reaches 50 cm in height, which blooms in late spring and is filled with flowers of all the various shades of blue; the aster amellus, commonly called Virgil’s astro, a herbaceous plant whose flowers are blue or lilac; the aster of Sorrentino or aster sorrentinii, a plant very popular in the nineteenth century, which blooms from June to November and its flowers are of different shades, varying in fact from lilac to pale yellow.
The star was once used as a medical plant, the ancients used it as a real anti-inflammatory. This use is still valid today, in fact, according to modern phytotherapy, the star is used to treat inflammatory forms resulting from tracheitis, gastritis and even hemorrhoids. The plant is also used in China, where, however, the roots are used against coughs and to absorb bleeding.