Nectar-rich asters, also known as Michaelmas daisies, provide a boost for late-flying bees and butterflies.
Cuttings are a cheap and easy way to get more of these plants. Once taken, they’ll grow over the next 12 months and be ready to flower next autumn, which is when the availability of nectar starts to diminish.
Take care of your cuttings by keeping them moist but not overwatered, as fungal infection will cause them to rot. Remove any that turn brown to protect the rest.
Not growing asters? Discover 12 of the best Michaelmas daises to grow.
Follow these easy steps to take cuttings from your asters.
You Will Need
- Secateurs or a sharp knife
- Small pots
- Free-draining compost
- Horticultural grit
Take non-flowering shoots only, and make sure they’re healthy and pest free. Take more than you need. Strip the lower leaves using a knife or fingernails.
With a sharp tool, make a clean cut across the stem below a leaf node. Stems will root at this junction. Nip out the growing tips if they’re very soft.
Fill a 10-12cm pot with gritty compost, then take five cuttings and push them in until the first leaves are at the same height as the edge. Finish with a layer of grit.
As well as cuttings, you can also divide asters in spring to prevent flower quality from diminishing. Find out how to divide asters.