Growing Astilbe

Pronunciation: uh-still'-bee   

Astilbe are one of the best flowers for light to moderate shade. In average garden soil, requires partial shade; tolerates full sun where moisture is ample. (Partial shade or shade and damp soil are required for best performance in the South and in warm inland areas of the West.) Most varieties fare poorly in dry soil. Many gardeners find the spent plumes attractive and so leave them standing until they are beaten down by inclement weather.

Suggested use: A good choice for somewhat shaded areas in the back of the rock garden, herbaceous border, and in front of the shrub border; also include in the cutting garden.

Culture: Provide soil that is well drained and rather rich in organic matter; plants like filtered light and evenly damp—not wet—locations; 3–4 hours sun; planting depth 1″; space 12–18″; pH 6.5–7.0.

Problems: Few problems with insects and disease but blossoms may dry out prematurely in exceptionally hot weather.

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