The basic information about the plant

The common names: The common names are florist’s spirea, false goat's beard, false spirea, etc.
The plant type: An Astilbe plant is an herbaceous perennial that spreads via underground rhizomes.
The zones: three to nine depending on variety.
Plant exposure: This plant does best in partial shade to shade.

Furthermore, Astilbes plants are typically classified as early, mid, or late season bloomers, although depends on the species and cultivar. The early blooming varieties normally emerge in spring, the late bloomers hold off until July or August. Although the bloom times vary widely, you can actually combine plants from each category for an ever-blooming garden from May through September.

The length of bloom: four to six weeks.

The height: Eight inches to four feet. 

Basic characteristics of plant

This particular plant provides year-round interest, beginning with their foliage in early spring and ending with dried feathery plumes and seedheads in winter. In between, these showy perennials are some of the best plants for summer color, displaying delicately fragrant bottlebrush-shaped blooms in colors ranging from creamy white and soft pink to deep purple and crimson red. Astilbe flower clusters range in size from six inches to two feet in length, depending on the species or cultivar. Even when not in bloom, their deeply-cut leaves remain attractive all season and are often enhanced by tones of bronze or burgundy. Some have especially eye-catching foliage in shades such as bright chartreuse, chocolate, and russet red.

Some of the common types

The hybrid astilbe (Astilbe ×arendsii): This is by far the largest group of garden hybrids and it actually includes more than a hundred varieties. Most of them are early-season bloomers, emerging in late spring or early summer.

The Chinese astilbe (Astilbe chinensis): These fast-spreading, rhizomatous plants are most times used as groundcovers. The Chinese astilbe bloom later than the arendsii hybrids and are more drought and heat tolerant.

The Japanese astilbe (Astilbe japonica): The Japanese astilbe is an early-to-mid summer bloomer with dense, pyramidal flower plumes.

The star astilbe (Astilbe simplicifolia): The star astilbe is a slow-growing, compact plant with shiny leaves and delicate starlike flowers.

How to grow Astilbe plant

The period to plant: You can plant in spring after the threat of severe frost has passed, or in early-to-mid fall.

The place to plant: Astilbe plant is best grown in partial shade to shade, they tolerate filtered sun. This plant will also grow well in full sun in northern zones. Although they are best use in light shade, since they provide a bright splash of color to banish gloom. In warm southern regions they can be planted in partial to full shade to prevent scorching of the leaves.

The soil: From my little experience all astilbes even the more drought-tolerant varieties, prefer cool, moist soil rich in organic matter. Make sure you keep the soil evenly damp but not soggy, most especially during the winter when plants are dormant. Make sure you avoid planting in heavy clay soils and sites with poor drainage. You can amend the soil with compost or organic matter to improve structure and moisture retention. To Learn more about Astilbe plants click here

How to plant Astilbe

This particular plant can be grown from root divisions, nursery-grown plants or seeds, although you will have a better success planting divisions or potted plants because astilbe seeds have a tendency to rot in the ground before they germinate. Make sure you place the crown of the plant about an inch below the soil surface, and then fan or spread out the roots to encourage new root growth. You can space the plants at least sixteen inches apart to allow ample growing room for the attractive foliage.

Companions plants: These are moisture-loving, shade-tolerant plants such as small ferns, hostas, Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis), lungwort (Pulmonaria) Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla), and variegated Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'). To Learn more about Astilbe plants click here

Water application and fertilizer requirements

These plants are thirsty plants and heavy feeders during the growing season. Make sure you keep the plant well watered, most especially during the heat of the summer. And again a one-time application of a timed-release granular fertilizer before flowering begins in spring should be enough to satisfy the plant appetite. Don’t forget that early-flowering astilbe varieties form buds in the autumn for the next season’s flowers, so fertilizing these plants again in October with a high-nitrogen fertilizer will really help to stimulate bud formation the following spring.
Furthermore, in other to help preserve soil moisture, make sure you keep them well mulched with leaf mold, compost or another type of organic material. By peradventure if you notice that the root crowns are rising above the soil, you can gently press them back into the ground before top dressing. To Learn more about Astilbe plants click here

Pest control

Astilbe plants are rarely bothered by diseases or insects, even including the pesky garden slugs that typically nosh on plants grown in a moist environment. Astilbe plants are deer and rabbit resistant.
To Learn more about Astilbe plants click here

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