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Aster leaf spots

Hello,
A few days ago I planted some New England asters in a container and I’ve just noticed the leaves at the base of the stem don’t look happy. 
I put some gravel at the base of the pot and used organic peat-free soil that seems to drain well. 
Is there anything wrong and, if so, should I be taking any action now to prevent further damage?
I bought the asters from a garden center. 
Thanks in advance for any thoughts. 

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    I wouldn't be worried about that. All plants get some ropey foliage, especially as time goes on.  :)
    However, Asters like really free draining soil, so it might have been better to mix a load of grit through the soil you've used, rather than gravel at the bottom. That can often create a sump.
    They should be fine for just now though. Most asters get quite large, so you'll need a spot to plant them out somewhere next year. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you for your reply! I think I did add some potting grit to the container, come to think of it. We’re currently preparing some beds and conditioning the soil (it’s clay where we are) so hopefully we’ll have somewhere to plant them next year. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    Just watch out for them getting water logged over winter - a spot where they get a bit of shelter from excess rain - against a house wall  is ideal.   :)
    All clay here too - loads of rotted manure and compost etc is ideal for breaking that up a bit.
    The more plants you have in the beds the better, to soak up excess moisture. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Ah that’s a good tip, thank you. We were a bit sad when we discovered we had clay soil. Can you tell me a few plants that have done particularly well in clay soil so we can focus on those?  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    I built raised beds to counteract most of it here. It would have been soul destroying to try and create beds in a conventional way - it was all paved and gravelled. The part which was grass, I stripped back and added manure for winter. By the following spring, it was good, and everything I planted had compost added at planting time, and that bed gets some compost and/or leaf mould added each year.  
    Many plants will thrive in clay as long as it's been amended a bit. It does depend on the rest of your climate and your general temps etc, as to what will do well.  
    For shady, wetter areas - Astilbes, Acteas, Heucheras, Geraniums, Polemonium, Polygonatum, snowdrops, ferns, lily of the valley, Primulas,  Camassias, Hellebores, many narcissus all do well. Lots of shrubs are fine - Spirea, Potentilla, Weigela, Osmanthus, Hydrangeas, Ilex [holly] Mahonia, Berberis, Acers. Trees like Rowans [mountain ash] and Amelanchier are fine.  
    I have, or have had,  all of those. 
    In sunnier spots - most plants are fine as long as the drainage is good. Lilies too. 
    Loads of clematis are fine in clay, as long as the drainage is right. 

    There will be hundreds more plants.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • This is such helpful advice. Thank you so much. We’ve just managed to source tons of organic compost to add to the soil so fingers crossed we’ll have better soil by spring and we can plant some of these. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    That should make a big difference.  :)
    When you're looking to get plants, if you put a few details on the forum, and photos [that always helps] you'll get loads of other suggestions. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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