Astilbe, remarkable foliage, even more stunning blooms


Astilbe is a dense, bushy perennial, notorious for its leafage and stunning flowers.

Key Astilbe facts:

Name: Astilbe
Family: Saxifragaceae
Type: flower, perennial
Height: 1-3 ft / 30-100 cm (variety)
Exposure: shade or part sun

Soil: heath soil  –  Flowering: April to May

Its elegant and ethereal inflorescence also dresses the garden in hues of white, pink, and even purple, in spring.

Planting astilbe

The season is of no importance, astilbe can be planted in spring or in fall, but what it needs is acidic soil such as heath soil.

  • Select a spot that is preferably shaded over, especially during the hottest hours of the day.
  • The soil must be acidic, quite cool and well drained.
  • It is important to add heath soil.
  • Astilbe loves rather rich soil, so in the best of worlds it would be fertilized before planting.

Propagation through rhizome division in spring or in fall, ideally every 3 years.

Astilbe in containers and garden boxes

The astilbe is the perfect plant to garnish your pot arrangements, containers and garden boxes. Since it is available in all hues ranging from pink to red, it truly embellishes arrangements with other flowers and keeps its beautiful foliage up to the first frost spells.

  • Verify that the bottom of your pots have holes in them.
  • Eventually, place a bit of gravel or clay pebbles at the bottom to increase drainage.
  • Set each astilbe at least 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) from the next to give them space to grow.

Pruning and caring for astilbe

Astilbe careRemove wilted flowers regularly (deadheading).

Cut back the clump at the end of winter in order to promote sprouting of new leaves.

Watering astilbe

It is a good idea to water regularly in the year of planting and then again whenever the weather is hot and dry, because astilbe has an aversion to dry spells.

If in pots, a good counsel is to water regularly in summer to avoid having the plant desiccate.

All there is to know about the astilbe

It is native to Europe and temperate Asia, and astilbe belongs to the same family as heuchera and the tiny saxifrage.

Astilbe flowerA very fashionable plant in the days of our grand-parents who used it to decorate their gardens, astilbe is now making a comeback thanks the appearance of new varieties boasting very ornamental leafage, aside from the ease of its care.

The blooming ranges from tender pink to deep red, and includes white too; this depends on the variety.

The growing is quite easy and doesn’t require any special care.

  • It is used in flower beds, along edges, on rocky ground and in pot arrangements.
  • A lightly shaded pathway is ideal to set up an edge of astilbe.
  • Excellent choice for wet soil: set up astilbe near a pond

Smart tip about astilbe

Its resilience makes it insensitive to disease, and it thus never requires any treatment.

Images: 123RF & dreamstime: Maria Evseyeva; Pixabay: Etienne Gontier