From birthstones to zodiac signs, there is a host of symbolism and meaning ascribed to our months of birth, and these complex associations can be found within the world of flowers as well. Within this world, the aster flower and are said to represent the month of September. With beautiful fall wrapping us in its embrace during this month, there is much to be thankful for. Let us dive in and explore all there is to know!
Keep on reading to find out the:
- Aster Flower History
- Morning Glory History
- Aster symbolism
- Aster Color Meaning
- Morning Glory Symbolism
- Growing Your Own Aster
- Morning Glory Planting Tips
Aster Flower History
The genus, Aster, once held close to 600 species within it, but after extensive research, changes were made and now there are only close to 200 species considered as part of the genus. The lovely aster flower is, surprisingly, found mainly within Eurasia, with only one species, known as the sea aster, being found in the United Kingdom. It is a perennial flowering plant that is part of the family Asteraceae. The most common variety is a beautiful bluish-purple color, although other shades, such as orange and red, exist as well.
Morning Glory History
Part of the Convolvulaceae family, which has over 1,000 species within its family, the morning glory is a flowering plant with both annual and perennial plants. With use as far back as the Mesoamerican civilizations, the morning glory has been around for centuries, with some Aztec shamans being said to use morning glory as a hallucinogenic. A variety of colors exist, with blue, white, and pink being most common. The petals of the morning glory are large and curve inwards forming a beautiful cup-like shape that is as graceful as it is beautiful. They are typically found in tropical climates in the Americas, as well as in parts of Asia.
There are many myths and symbolism associated with the aster flower. Once burnt to ward off serpents, the flowers surprisingly became associated with feelings of love and affection. Within ancient Greek myths, the goddess Astraea was constantly overwhelmed with grief at how few stars graced the sky, and as her tears fell to Earth, they each bloomed into beautiful star-shaped flowers, which were subsequently named asters after the goddess whom they came from. Another Greek myth names the god Virgo as the source, for where he scattered stardust across the planet, asters were said to bloom. In Victorian times, lovers would send aster flowers to each other as a secret sign of their love and affection for one another.
Aster Color Meanings
The white aster flower is thought to represent the innocence of youth and purity of spirit. Purple asters are associated with wisdom, as well as nobility. Whereas pink and red aster flowers are associated with love, devotion, and femininity.
Morning Glory Symbolism
Back in Victorian times, the morning glory became associated with remembrance of those we have loved and lost since the flower blooms and dies within a single day. The flowers are commonly placed upon gravestones. Within Christianity, they are symbols of the unescapable fact that all mortal creatures die eventually. Within Chinese culture, the morning glory is tied with an ancient myth of two lovers. Each was so smitten with the other that they neglected everything else within their lives. The gods became annoyed with them and cursed them to only be able to see each other once a year, and never more. The flower has since become the symbol of desire and of a love that can never truly be fulfilled.
Morning Glory Color Meanings
Within the realm of color, the white of the morning glory flower is thought to symbolize purity of spirit, as well as the innocence of youth and soul. The red morning glory flowers are associated with symbols of strength, courage, and a brave heart.
Growing Your Own Aster Flower
Aster flowers tend to grow best in moist environments, with cool air and good shade. They require some sun, with well-drained, and loamy soil. Before you plant, make sure to mix in a good amount of compost into the soil. Once planting is done, watering heavily is recommended, while adding a large quantity of mulch to retain moisture. Depending on the variety, give between 1 to 3 feet of space between each planting. If you happen to be starting in winter, you can grow them in pots, keeping them stored in the fridge to mimic their winter dormancy. After about six weeks, placing them somewhere sunny, such as on a windowsill, helps with germination. Once the frost has dissipated outside, you can then transplant them into your garden. Aster flowers do well in closed off spaces, such as rock gardens. Prune in early winter.
Morning Glory Planting Tips
Blooming in early summer, the morning glory is a hardy plant. Ideally planted in an area that receives a lot of sunlight, they need good fertile soil that is well-drained. They are rather delicate, so make sure to plant them somewhere protected from hard winds. Give at least 6 inches of space between each planting. Once planted, applying a balanced fertilizer moderately is recommended. Some species of morning glory are climbers, so helping to support them with arches and other structures is best. Watering should only be done during dry spells. Mulching should be done to avoid moisture loss. Planting them somewhere where they can be used as a shade for other plants would be ideal.
The Lovely Flowers of September
From ancient Greek myths to unrequited love in Chinese legends, the aster and morning glory flowers are a beautifully symbolic duo that can be a wonderful addition to any garden. With hardy natures and lovely exteriors, they are the perfect gift to start someone’s journey into the world of flowers.