Crop Rotation Group
Fertile, moist soil enriched with compost, with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.
Yes, astilbe is a hardy perennial. Well-rooted plants are hardy to -30°F (-34°C).
Drench with a liquid organic fertilizer when plants begin to grow tall in late spring or early summer. Feed again in late summer to nourish the glossy foliage.
Single Plants: 11" (30cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 11" (30cm) with 11" (30cm) row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Bare-root or potted plants of improved varieties are widely available in spring. Set out plants as early as possible, while the soil is still cool. Spread the roots with your fingers, and take care not to bury the crown, which can lead to rotting. Young plants need water when they are actively growing. A surface mulch suppresses weeds while making the plants look more attractive.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.
Astilbe plants take time to settle in, and may not bloom well until their second year in the garden. Cultivars vary in their bloom times and foliage, which may be green or blushed with bronze. Plants grown in deep shade do not bloom as heavily as those that get dappled or part-day sun. Astilbes are deer resistant. Use dwarf varieties when growing astilbe in containers.
Gather stems for use in cut arrangements as you need them. Astilbe spikes also can be dried. The plants do not rebloom, so you can leave the brown flower spikes on the plants for visual interest, or prune them off to better showcase the pretty foliage.
Overly wet conditions can lead to crown rot. In spring, four-lined plant bugs may make numerous round spots in leaves, but the damage is seldom severe.
Planting and Harvesting Calendar
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Pests which Affect Astilbe