Callistephus chinensis

Common Name: China aster 
Type: Annual
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Cultivar shades of white to pink, red, blue,violet, purple and yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy


Cool weather annual. Easily grown in rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost date. Set seedlings and/or purchased starter plants out after last frost date. In the alternative, sow seed directly in the garden after last frost date with several additional plantings thereafter at two week intervals. Day-neutral plants will bloom earlier. Do not allow soils to dry out. Plants appreciate good air circulation. Tall flowers may need staking or other support.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Callistephus chinensis, commonly called China aster, is a popular annual that provides showy, 3-5-inch diameter blooms from early summer to fall on plants clad with ovate, toothed, medium green leaves. Species plants are infrequently grown because of the huge number of superior cultivars that have arisen over the years. Cultivar height ranges from 8-inch dwarfs to 36-inch tall plants. Cultivar appearance varies from single daisy-like flower heads with yellow centers to fully double flower heads with shaggy to pompom form. Cultivar colors include shades of white to pink, red, blue, violet, purple and yellow.

Genus name comes from the Greek words kalli- meaning beautiful and stephos meaning a crown in reference to the flowers.

Specific epithet means Chinese


Aphids and spider mites may appear. Plants are susceptible to some significant disease problems including (1) aster yellows (spray if necessary to control leafhoppers), (2) aster wilt and (3) stem rot. Site plants in different locations from year to prevent transmission of diseases from the soil. Dig up and destroy diseased plants.


Beds, borders, cottage gardens, cutting gardens or pots/containers.