with late-season, cool weather blooms fills in garden spaces where other
flowers have not made it through the summer heat. Daisy-like blossoms of the
aster, sometimes called Michaelmas daisies, welcome pollinators and those
tending the flower garden alike – until the gardener finds a case of aster wilt
disease. Wilting asters are difficult to revive once blossoms appear and young
plants with aster wilt symptoms rarely survive. Learn what you can do to save
your asters in this article.
What Causes Wilting Asters?
Aster fusarium wilt is a fungal
issue that is soilborne and may remain in your beds indefinitely. It may also
come in with soil your plants are potted in.
Aster wilt most often attacks those
in bloom. Leaves on the bottom or one side yellow and buds and blooms drop from
the infection. A brownish fungal discoloration of vascular tissue is present on
the stem near the base.
Managing Aster Wilt Symptoms
Affected plants should be removed and
of properly so the fungus does not spread. Burn or put in the trash.
Don’t compost this or other diseased plant material.
If you’ve lost asters to wilt,
avoid planting them again in the same area. Avoid moving this soil to other
flowerbeds. You may remove and dispose of it and replace with fresh potting
Replant with disease-resistant
cultivars, such as Gem mixed or Dwarf Queen, keeping a close eye on the growing
asters for wilt symptoms.
While it can be difficult to learn
how to treat aster wilt, solarizing
the soil between plantings sometimes kills the fungus. To solarize
the soil, rototill the area and break up all clumps. Water in and allow to dry
out for two days. Cover the area with a clear plastic, such as
anti-condensation film, tucking the edges into the soil. Leave the wrap in
place four to six weeks in summer, sometimes longer.