Perennials at Gorge Top Gardens: Astilbe
The brightly colored flower spikes and
gorgeous green leaves of astilbes are breath-taking when planted en masse (groups of
10 or more). One of the most colorful perennials for shade. Flower plumes are
comprised of tiny densely packed flowers and are referred to as panicles. Astilbe
panicles range in shape form tall and narrow to dense and stocky and some are
light and airy. Flower spikes first start to appear in late spring and contiune through
July. Heights vary according to variety ranging from as low as 10 inches to as high as 4
feet. Astilbes thrive in a rich organic soil that retains moisture -- moisture
being key. Astilbes will not tolerate dry soils. Plants prefer partial shade but can
be grown in full sun if the soil remains moist. Moisture is such a critical factor
in growing beautiful Astilbe plants that we must stress that placement in the garden is
critical. Apply a good layer of mulch to help the roots stay cool and moist.
Apply well rotted manure and bone meal at first signs of growth in spring and contiune
feeding with fish emulsion twice per month during the growing season.
Zones: 3 - 8
Propagation: Lift and divide every 2 -3 years
Problems: no specific problems are known
Notes: New young plants may need extra waterings especially during
prolonged dry spells. It is best to set out Astilbe as eary in the sping as you can
to allow the plant to establish feeder roots before the heat of summer sets in.
Pictured above - Astilbe 'Fanal'