Thick clustered, tightly-knit blooms create a colourful floral carpet. China aster 'Carpet Ball Mixed' produces neat, mound-shaped plants with the foliage almost obscured by the fully double flowers. These superb, low maintenance annuals flower over a long period throughout summer, making them ideal for brightening up the front of borders and patio containers. Height and spread: 20cm.
Sow China aster seeds from March to April at 20-30C on the surface of a good quality seed compost. Do not cover the seed. Keep the soil damp but not wet and do not exclude light as this helps germination. Place in a propagator or seal the seed tray inside a polythene bag until after germination, which usually takes 7-21 days. When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant and grow them on in cooler conditions until large enough to plant outdoors. When China aster plants are well grown and all risk of frost has passed, acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over 7 to 10 days before planting outdoors in their final positions. Grow asters in full sun in fertile, moist, well drained, non-acidic soil at a distance of 30cm apart.
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