Cultural Information for: Aster Serenade Annual
Common Name: Aster
Botanical Name: Callistephus chinensis
Seed Count: 11,400-14,200/ounce 400-500/gram
Optimum Germination Temperature: 77-59ºF / 25-15ºC (day-night)
Optimum Growing Temperature: 60-70ºF / 15-21ºC
Plug Production – 4 weeks (288 12 x 24 tray)
Stage 1 (days 1-10) Sow seeds into plug trays using a well- drained sterile mix. The soil pH should be in the range of
5.8-6.2. Serenade seed requires higher aeration to germinate so first moisten the media prior to sowing and then apply a very light cover of vermiculite. Do not water after sowing or the day following sowing. Then, water as needed allowing the media to dry slightly between watering. An overly wet soil will decrease germination. For optimum germination, especially for Blue, Blue Tipped W hite and Rose Tipped W hite maintain 77 ºF/25ºC for 12 hours in the day and 59ºF/15ºC for 12 hours at night.
Stage 2 (days 11-21) After seedlings begin to emerge, move the plug trays to a bright greenhouse and reduce the air humidity and temperature to between 60-70°F/15-21°C. Lightly feed with 100 ppm N from a well balanced fertilizer. Asters are sensitive to Boron deficiency so maintain optimum pH levels (5.8 - 6.2) and consider applying 0.25 ppm Boron with each irrigation/fertilization.
Stage 3 (days 21-35) Provide plenty of light and air circulation and fertilize the plugs as needed to maintain healthy tissue with 100-150 ppm N from a well-balanced fertilizer. The use of calcium nitrate based fertilizers is recommended to help build strong stems and roots.
Stage 4 (days 35-40) Plugs are ready for transplanting into flower beds. Aster Serenade is sensitive to day length and stress conditions. In order to maximize stem length for cut flowers DO NOT DELAY TRANSPLANTING!
Space plants 4 x 5 inches/10 x 12.5 cm apart in beds with a rich soil full of organic matter where Asters were not previously grown the year before. Serenade is tolerant of stem rot (fusarium) and can be grown in the same field every other year. NEVER GROW in the same field more than two years in a row.
Growing: Maintain good air circulation and temperatures between 60 -70ºF/15-21ºC. Fertilize as needed to maintain a soil EC of 0.7 to 1.0 mmhos (1:2 slurry). Soil EC under 0.5 mmhos will cause lower leaves to yellow. Soil EC above 1.0 will result in large foliage, delayed flowering and shorter vase life. Asters have sturdy stems, but additional support is generally needed.
Flowering: Bud formation begins under long days (>16 hours) with final development under short day conditions.
In general, Aster Serenade flowers in 13-14 weeks (90-100 days) after sowing.
Natural Season Flowering without photoperiod manipulation
Area Sow Harvest
Warm Area March July (16 weeks)
Cool Area April July/August (14 weeks)
*For W inter flowering, provide 4 hours of supplemental lighting for 3 weeks from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the 5th true leaf stage and then apply short day conditions (<12 hours). If plants are too short, maintain lighting for longer than 3
weeks to add height and delay flowering. Stems should be
2/3rd final height at the start of short days.
*For late Summer to Autumn flowering provide short days, (less than 12 hours of light), in the plug stage when sowing May to July to ensure sufficient stem length. To ensure proper development and stem length provide long days at the 5th true leaf stage by lighting from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. followed by short days when the crop is 2/3rd’s the final desired height.
Post Harvest Care: Cut stems when 2-3 flowers are 1/4 open. Strip off bottom leaves and place stems in tepid water in a cool area to allow for rehydration.
“Information copied from the breeder.
Muller will not accept any liability for failure and/or damage as a consequence of incorrect and/or inexpert cultivation by or on behalf of the Buyer.”