Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Plant Profile: Astilbe

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 also give them a shot of spray paint or floral paint to keep their color all season -- and no one will be the wiser. Then cut them back in winter when they start to look ratty.

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Amanda Cash
Audio by Kathy Jentz


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