Perennial Astilbe is a great shade plant with rich, dense foliage and feathery, summer blooms for your shade garden. There isn’t an abundance of colorful shade-loving plants. So, growing Astilbe is a fantastic choice. Astilbe is native to Asia and North America. There are 25 varieties to choose from. Astilbe plumes attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your backyard shade garden.
Flower Colors: Pink, red, white, purple, and peach.
Flowers Bloom: June – July in most areas.
Plant Height: from 18 inches to five feet, depending upon variety. Also, there is a dwarf variety that grows just 6 inches tall.
Other Names: Also known as False Spirea and False Goat’s Beard,
Astilbe looks its best when planted in groups. They look great in a flower bed, as border edging, or in containers on your patio or deck.
Astilbe is commonly propagated by the division of their roots. This is best done in either spring or fall. For the best performance of these showy shade lovers, separate roots every 3-4 years.
However, Astilbe can also be grown from seed. Sow seeds early in the spring indoors, or directly into your garden after the weather and soil has warmed in your area.
Growing Astilbe is very easy.
Astilbe plants prefer partial to full shade.
They need soft soil, mixed with lots of humus or peat. The soil must drain well. Water the plants to keep the soil moist, preferably at all times.
Space plants 12″ to 24″ apart. They look best when planted in groups.
Astilbe plants are heavy feeders. In addition to a rich soil, add fertilizer high in nitrogen, regularly.
Mulch around plants to help keep weeds down, and to retain soil moisture. Mulch will also help to feed the plants as it decomposes.
These hardy plants will overwinter well. But, a layer of much is still recommended, especially in the coldest climates.
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 8.0.
Plant Problems – causes and cures
Perennial Astilbe seldom has major problems with insects and disease. However, if insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.