Michalemas daisies is the name applied to hybrids of Aster novae- angliae and Aster nock-belgii. The cultivars of Aster dumosus (bushy aster) are sometimes called dwarf michaelmas daisies because of their compact and lower growth. The reason for this confusion lies in the similar way their flowers look like. I mean the structure of the composite flower because the colors of umpteen cultivars being similar too are in fact amazingly different in shades and tones. Try out four of five, for example, pink cultivars and you will see the difference.
Tall varieties of hardy aster are invaluable for large borders. They look great planted against fences or walls as well as close to large shrubs and trees. The tall stems require stalking especially if exposed to strong winds. Hardy asters form big clumps which need to be divided every three-four years. Some of the cultivars have quite invasive roots that is why they need to be controlled more often. And they like to be controlled because each division results in more profound blooming the following season. The dwarf, cushion types of michaelmas daisies are perfect for rock gardens. They also make good container plants.
All asters do well in full sun or very light shade. They thrive in every type of soil providing it is not saturated with moisture during the winter months. Do not feed them excessively. Too much fertilisers can spoil the fun because then they grow leggy and are really late with flowering.
Talking about tardy flowers of michaelmas daisies, it really makes me think about wonders mother nature has created along with the message they convey. Feeling first cold and soon frosty bites of autumnal weather the asters seem to be quite unaware of the danger and bloom happily with great determination, maturity and devotion. A perfect example to follow unlike Mr Oniegin (from Tchaikovsky's famous opera) whose only merit is the voice of the opera singer performing his part. And it becomes super merit if the voice belongs to fabulous Mariusz Kwiecień.