Astilbes Plant: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
Astilbes Plant Description
Astilbes are one of the easiest perennial flowers to cultivate. They feature plume-like blooms that bloom for a long time in gentle colours of white, pink, and red and are carried on tall, rigid shoots above the airy leaves. They are almost pest-free and require minimal maintenance. They may brighten a shady garden or cool a hot location.
Astilbe is prized for providing long-lasting colour to part-shaded borders with a few tall colourful blooms. Heuchera, hosta, and Ligularia, for example, have huge, wide leaves, while Astilbe gives a great textural contrast. Astilbe may be cultivated in pots as well.
The Astilbe genus contains at least 18 perennial species native to Asia and North America, but the cultivars of Chinese astilbe (Astilbe chinensis) and cultivars of Astilbe x arendsii, a hybrid created by crossing Astilbe chinensis, Astilbe thunbergii, and Astilbe astilboides, are the most common in gardens.
Astilbe can be planted in the spring or fall, but avoid planting during the warmest portion of the summer. If you must plant, make sure to keep the plant properly hydrated until new growth appears.
These plants grow slowly, but once developed, they will blossom for many years without needing to be divided. They can grow up to 6 inches to 2 feet tall and 6 inches to 5 feet wide.
How To Care Astilbes?
Astilbe seed is accessible, but germination can be problematic. Starting with a plant or division is the simplest option. In its first year, even a small plant will soon fill up and perform effectively.
They need to be cultivated in the shade and/or given enough water in hot, dry conditions. From mid-spring through late summer, many types will blossom. You may nearly extend the blooming season by planting multiple species of astilbe.
The plumes stay in bloom for several weeks and look great as they fade and dry on the plant. Because they will not bloom again, there is no need to deadhead them.
How To Grow Astilbes?
Partial shade is preferred for Astilbe plants, although they may also thrive in full sun or full shade. Astilbe will blossom in the shade, but it needs some sunshine to reach its full potential. Their leaves will burn in the full sun in warm weather and on dry soil, so some afternoon shade is required.
Astilbe plants like soil that is slightly rich, wet, and slightly acidic, with a pH of approximately 6.0.
Astilbe plants require extra hydration in hotter weather, especially if they are in full sun. They don’t perform well in extended dryness; the leaves brown and dry, and if left dry for too long, the plants die.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
Even in difficult areas, Astilbe plants are robust and may survive the winter. Put down two inches of mulch around the stem after the first severe frost to keep the soil temperature in check.
Because astilbe plants require phosphorus to blossom, use a fertiliser with a 5-10-5 or 10-10-10 composition. Two weeks before planting, rake the fertiliser into the soil, or sprinkle a few granules over the soil after the astilbe has been planted.
Fertilize the plant every spring once it has developed itself, whenever the soil is moist but the leaves are not.
Varieties of Astilbes
Every year, new kinds are introduced, including, more lately, newer breeds with darker leaves. The following are some accepted guidelines:
1. Astilbe x arendsii ‘Bridal Veil’: Astilbe x arendsii ‘Bridal Veil’ is a mid- to late-season flower with full white plumes.
2. A. x arendsii ‘Fanal’ blooms early and has blood-red flowers on bronze leaves.
3. ‘Rheinland’ A. × arendsii: Another early bloomer with a beautiful pink colour; extremely hardy.
4. ‘Purple Candles’, A. chinensis taquetii: Deep purple, chenille-like plumes
5. ‘Visions in Red’ A. chinensis is a compact shrub with bronze leaves and rich red blooms.
Plants of the genus Astilbe require very little upkeep. The bloom heads will dry on the shrub and look lovely for months. Trim the blooms as soon as they begin to look ragged, or leave them up for winter interest and cut them back in the spring.
How To Propagate Astilbes?
Astilbe plants should be divided every four to five years to keep them healthy. Astilbe plants may develop swiftly in favourable conditions, necessitating more frequent division.
After transplanting, keep the plants properly hydrated so they may immediately establish themselves.
In the early spring, just dig up the root ball, divide it into several equal-sized pieces using a shovel, and replant it at the same soil level. After you’ve planted the pieces, make sure they’re thoroughly watered.
Common Pests and Diseases in Astilbes
Astilbes are nearly pest-free, with few illnesses or insects bothering them. Groundhogs and rabbits may eat the sensitive young growth, but after the plants have filled out, they usually do not suffer long-term harm.