Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Astilbe: You Can Grow That!

Astilbe (False Spirea) is a perennial for that wet, shade spot in your garden. Feather-y blooms atop fern-like foliage give this plant a graceful appearance. It can take some sun, but will burn in hot afternoon summer sun.

It is deer-resistant and tolerates clay soils well. Use mid-border in a mixed garden bed or in a container as the central feature. It spreads slowly and is fairly easy to divide. It is generally hardy down to Zone 4.

Astilbe is often seen in white hues, but also check out the different colors offered in the Astilbe chinensis 'Visions' collection -- from dark red to pink-purple.

I inter-plant mine with early-spring bulbs such as 'Thalia' daffodils so that the emerging Astilbe foliage in mid-spring covers the bulbs as they die-back. Also, I leave the flower heads to dry on the plant as remain attractive for many months. You can cut them back in winter when they start to look ratty.

Garden Bloggers You Can Grow That! Day was started by C. L. Fornari of Whole Life Gardening because she believes “Gardening is one of the most life-affirming things we can do.…We need to thoroughly saturate people with the belief that plants and gardening are worth doing because of the benefits gained.” Garden bloggers who agree post about something worth growing on the fourth day of every month. Read this month’s You Can Grow That! posts or stop by the You Can Grow That! Facebook page to read all of the posts.


Lorie said...

Just visited your blog and enjoyed my time reading about your gardens. I'm in N. VA also, about 45 miles west of DC. Yes, the rains have been interesting development in the veg. garden esp. Great for seedlings, tough on the last week or so in the strawberry patch. Most of the berries left turned to mush from an overload of water. Thankfully the rains came on the tail end of the strawberry season.

WashingtonGardener said...

Thanks for stopping by Lorie! I hope you got some last few strawberries from your plot and that your garden survived this past week's torrential rains without too much damage.