Common Name: astilbe
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Heavy Shade, Black Walnut
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, humusy, organically rich soils. Soils must not be allowed to dry out. If regularly watered, foliage will usually remain attractive throughout the growing season. A summer compost mulch helps retain soil moisture. Removing faded flower stalks will not prolong bloom but may improve plant appearance, particularly if a ground cover look is desired. On the other hand, many gardeners leave the flower stalks in place after bloom because of the continuing ornamental interest of the dried seed heads. Divide clumps when overcrowding occurs (every 3-4 years).
Astilbes are mainstays of shade and woodland gardens. They are clump-forming perennials which feature graceful, fern-like mounds of mostly basal, 2-3 ternately compound leaves, usually with sharply-toothed leaflets, and tiny flowers densely packed into erect to arching, plume-like flower panicles rising above the foliage on slender, upright stems. Astilbe cultivars in the Japonica hybrid group are generally medium-sized varieties (to 3’) which bloom in midseason and feature erect flower panicles and ovate to lance-shaped leaflets. ‘Deutschland’ features a foliage mound (to 18” tall) of lustrous green leaves and upright panicles of pure white flowers on stems rising to 2’ tall in late spring.
No serious insect or disease problems. Foliage decline (leaf margins brown up), sometimes with significant dieback, may occur in hot summers and/or periods of drought if soils are not kept moist.
Mass or group in shade gardens, woodland gardens and shaded areas of border fronts or cottage gardens. Excellent large ground cover or edging plant for shady areas. Also effective on pond or stream banks.