Common Name Aster
Genus  Callistephus
Species chinensis
Family Asteraceae
Life Cycle  annual
Tray Size  210 cell tray
Plug Care Harden off plugs before transplant. Asters are sensitive to day length and stress conditions. In order to maximize stem length, do not delay transplanting.
Netting / Staking Hortonova netting is recommended. 
Temperature Range Best transplanted after soil has warmed in the spring and stays over 55F at night. 
Spacing 6" 
Soil Preference Select a cut flower bed rich in organic matter where
asters have not been grown the previous year. To prevent problems with fusarium grow in the same field every other year. Good drainage is required. 
Day Length Asters flower under shortening days of late summer. If you have strong streetlights or other outdoor lights that cast into your Aster patch, consider blocking this light at night. 
Pinching For cut flowers, no pinch will result in very tall stems.  If you desire branching, pinch deeply once, 14-18 days after transplant, leaving 3-5 internodes. 
When to Plant Spring, after danger of frost has passed. 
Harvesting For local markets, cut when flowers show full color but
before pollen ripens. In general one can expect 5-7 flowers per stem.
Post Harvest Care Strip off the bottom leaves and place stems in tepid water in a cool area for rehydration. Hold at 35-40°F. 
Diseases / Insects They are somewhat prone to many disease and pest issues, which limits their cultivation. Powdery mildew; rust; fusarium; whiteflies; thrips; spider mites. 
Bailey's Notes Callistephus establish under the long days of summer and then initiate bud as the days shorten. You can manipulate flower size and stem length by pinching or not pinching, or disbudding or not. They respond well to human intervention! 
Resources Sakata Aster Production Tutorial