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Perennials/Getting an aster start


My neighbor has a beautiful perennial aster that is called Pink Romance.Very vivid pink flowers.Is it possible that I could get a start from her plant .She said yes but we don't know how or when to do it.  Can we just di a chunk out from her flowers? Please advise..Thank You

Hello Chris,

You are in luck. Asters are amongst the easiest plants from which to take starts. They actually do better if they are divided every two to three years. Better yet, late summer is an ideal time.

Your instincts are excellent. Yes, you can indeed just take a chunk of her flowers. Your friend can simply dig out the portion that he or she wishes to give to you, and leave the rest in place. You can then, if possible, separate the section given to you into one or more pieces, and plant the sections directly into the ground. It is best to avoid the hottest time of the day, and make certain that they do not dry out before establishing themselves.

How nice that you have such a generous neighbor.

If you have any more questions or concerns please feel free to write again.

Best wishes,



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Donna Mack


I am a Master Gardener through the University of Illinois Extension.I can answer questions about pest control, especially voles, rabbits, chipmunks and slugs, and have done so on Dave's Garden Watchdog under the name DonnaMack since 2002. I have a lot of expertise with ornamental grass, hardy roses and old garden roses, minor bulbs such as ornigothalem, chionodoxa and allium as well as most types of lilies. I am knowledgeable about organic methods and I grow perennials, annuals and vegetables from seed.


I have been gardening since 1998 and have raised roses, peonies, annuals and perennials (the latter two from seed), and numerous shrubs and trees, many of which I have planted. I am familiar with many organic techniques and use as many as I can but know the chemical solutions, which are most benign and how to use them. I LOVE gardening, and I get great satisfaction with helping others so that they reach the state of joy that gardening can bring to those inclined to it.

The American Lily Society

I have numerous entries in Garden Watchdog under the name DonnaMack. I write three to four columns a year for the Kane County Chronicle.

I successfully completed the University of Illinois Master Gardening Program in March of 2013. I did this to augment extensive self study through books (I've probably read 100) and an arts degree, which helps with aesthetics. I am purely an amateur, but one who studies, reads, and documents extensively. My gardening log began in 2000, and has hundreds of entries, so that I can use my successes and failures to assist other gardeners.

Awards and Honors
The University of Illinois created a Team with Work Award for master gardeners who work together to create what they regard as an outstanding project. I won this award as part of a group that created "The Idea Garden", which suggests plants for home growers to attempt to grow. My personal contribution was salvias - ornamental and culinary hardy and tender perennials, which I grew from seed and tended through the season.

Past/Present Clients
I am currently overseeing and performing the maintenance of two large English style gardens in a suburb of Chicago, and recently acquired the management and redesign of a large estate garden(2015.)

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