Chinese native is a splendid cut flower and an effective bedding plant when well grown and free of disease. Plants are from 8 in. to 3 ft. high, 10–18 in.wide. Some kinds are branching; others (developed mainly for florists) have strong stems and no side shoots. Leaves are deeply toothed or lobed. Bloom comes in summer. Many different flower forms: quilled, curled, incurved, ribbonlike, or with interlaced rays; some have crested centers. Varieties are classified as peony flowered, pompon, anemone flowered, and ostrich feather. Colors range from white to pastel pink, rose pink, lavender, lavender blue, violet, purple, crimson, wine, and scarlet. Plant in rich, loamy or sandy soil.
After danger of frost is past, sow seed in place or set out plants started in flats. Keep growth steady; sudden checks in growth are harmful. Subject to aster yellows, a viral disease carried by leafhoppers. Discard infected plants; control leafhoppers. All but wilt-resistant types are subject to aster wilt or stem rot, caused by a parasitic fungus that lives in soil and is transmitted through roots into plants. Overwatering produces ideal condition for diseases, especially in heavy or poorly drained soil.