Astilbes are powerhouse perennials that can come in handy on almost every job. Their colorful spring plumes brighten up any garden – a handful in the small woodland garden do wonders to brighten the shade and on larger properties, big sweeps will make a dramatic, bold statement. There are so many rights with this plant it’s hard to find a wrong:

What they give:
-Showy flower spikes in a range of colors (shades of white, pink, red, purple) bloom spring to summer
-Interesting cutleaf (sometimes glossy) foliage is lush and full, preventing weeds
-Winter interest with brown seedheads
-Loves the shade
-Low maintenance
-Easy to grow
-Deer resistant!
-Mounded plants are neat and tidy
-Great for beds, borders naturalized areas and awesomely simple for containers

What they take:
-A partial to full shade, moist location (can tolerate sun with consistent moisture)
-Rich soil with organic matter
-Spring pruning – leave flower heads up in winter for interest
-Fertilize in spring with Espoma Plant-tone or Woodace 14-14-14

Want to stretch the bloom time? Plant different varieties: A. x arendesii  ‘Europa’ and ‘Bridal Veil (‘Brautschleier’) for example are early bloomers; ‘Amethyst’, ‘Fanal’ and the ‘Visions’ bloom mid-season; and typically A. chinensis are the later bloomers like ‘Pumila’ and ‘Hennie Graafland’. Head over to the perennials and watch the succession of flowering each time you stop in!

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