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Cultivation Techniques of China Aster


Scientific name: Callistephus chinensis L. Ness

Family: Asteraceae

It is native to Northern China and has spread to Europe and other tropical countries during 1731 A.D. The present day asters have been developed from a single form of wild species, Callistephus chinensis. The name of the genus ‘Callistephus’ is derived from two Greek words ‘kalistos’ meaning ‘Most beautiful’ and ‘stephos’, a crown, referring to the flower head. It is one of the most important annual flower crops grown in most parts of the world. Among annuals, it is ranked third for popularity, after chrysanthemum and marigold.


It is also called Annual Aster. It is a half hardy annual, plants are erect with branching habit.  Plants are erect bearing alternate, broadly ovate or triangular-ovate, irregularly toothed leaves. Flowers are solitary. Blooms contain two kinds of florets: ray florets and disc florets. The discs are short and ray florets are long. Semi-double or double. It has a wide array of varieties and the height ranges from 6 inches to 3 feet. They have daisy-like or star-like flower heads (4-6" in diameter) with a yellow center often tall stems.  Their colors vary from white to creamy yellow, pink, blue, red and purple.


Open sunny locations with well drained red loamy soils with pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Water logged soils are not recommended


China aster is propagated through seeds. A seed rate of 250 – 300 g/acre is sufficient. The seeds will not have dormancy and germinate in a week at about 21oC. The seeds loose viability at a faster rate if stored in ordinary containers for a longer time, therefore it is advisable to use only fresh seeds. Normally the seeds germinate at a temperature range of 10-35 0C. The optimum temperature being 21oC + 4 oC.

Cultivars and Varieties

Some of the public sector varieties released by IIHR, Bengaluru - Arka Aadya, Arka Shashank, Arka Archana, Arka Poornima, Arka Kamini and Violet cushion and varieties released by MPKV, Rahuri - Phule Ganesh White, Phule Ganesh Pink, Phule Ganesh Violet and Phule Ganesh Purple.

Nursery Operations

The seedlings are raised on nursery beds of size of 1.0 m width and convenient length. The beds were first drenched with captan (0.2%) and seeds were sown thinly and uniformly in lines and covered with a mixture of well rotten FYM and top soil. Seeds are to be treated with Captan (2 g / kg seeds) for five minutes and then sown in lines. The nursery beds are to be watered twice in a day for the first 10 days and thereafter once daily for the remaining period. The seedlings were ready for transplanting at 45 days after sowing.

Land Preparation and Transplanting

The field should be ploughed thoroughly and brought to a fine tilth. About 10-15 tonnes of well-decomposed farmyard manure may be incorporated in the soil at the time of soil preparation. In areas receiving high rainfall the seedlings should be planted on ridges to avoid chances of Fusarium wilt. A general spacing of 30 x 30 cm may be optimum for recommendation.

Fertilizer Application

Application of manure and fertilizers in required quantities is important for proper growth, yield and quality of flowers. The deficiency of nitrogen causes dwarfing of the plants resulting in small sized plants and flowers. Phosphorus deficiency causes delayed flowering. The recommended fertilizer dose is 72:48:24 kg NPK/ha. Of which 36 kg nitrogen, full dose of P & K has to be applied at the time of preparation of land. Remaining 36 kg/acre nitrogen has to be applied as top dressing at 40 days after transplanting.


Irrigation requirement depends upon the weather, type of soil and season of the crop grown. Since China aster is a shallow rooted crop, it needs continuous soil moisture throughout the entire period of crop growth. It requires irrigation at intervals of 7 to 10 days.


Pinching of main shoot at one month after transplanting promotes growth and development. Pinching delays flowering by 8-12 days.

Harvesting and Post Harvest Handling

Flowers are ready for the harvest in 70-80 days after transplanting. Flowers can be harvested in two ways. Loose flowers are used for decoration and religious offerings. Flowers with longer stalks and larger booms are harvested with stalks for use as cut flowers for fetching higher prices in the market. Cut flowers are to be placed in cool and clean water for maintaining turgidity with cut ends in water. Grading has to be done based on the length of the stalk. Loose flowers are to be packed in gunny or plastic bags and transported to the market.


On an average fresh yield of about 8-9 tonnes per acre during rainy season, 6-7 t per acre in winter and 4-5 t per acre in summer can be obtained.

Writer :: G.Aditya, R.Tejaswi and M.V.Bhaskar      Published on :: 02-Jun-2021

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