Astilbe: cultivation, flowering and pruning

Astilbe: cultivation, flowering and pruning

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Plant native to Asia and EuropeAstilbe it is often used for decorative purposes to decorate flower beds and gardens. It is very suitable for growing in the undergrowth and in general in humid soils, for example also on the edges of ponds. Today let's get to know this little known perennial, rhizomatous and bushy plant which, although never exceeding one meter in height, stands out both for its leaves, very elegant and with a particular shape, and for the flowers gathered in soft and colorful panicles.

The success of this plant is largely due to its own inflorescences that in the garden create volume and liven up the atmosphere with their varying colors from pink to white, from purple to red. The ease with which, as we will see, these plants can be grown is also appreciated.

Astilbe: variety

I am at least 18 species of rhizomatous plants registered under the name of Astilbe and therefore belonging to the family of Saxifragaceae. Most of them come to us from the Asian forests and mountains and as the plant is widespread also in our parts, they have been created many hybrids and cultivars that today we can see cultivated in our gardens. In the following roundup of plants we will try to tell the most known or most particular types of Astilbe existing on Earth today.

Astilbe japonica, erroneously also called Spiraea japonica, it could only come from Japan but it was also the first species introduced in Europe. One meter high, it has fibrous roots and stems sprinkled with reddish hairs but very elegant leaves and white flowers, collected in spikes, which appear in May-June. There are several cultivars includingAstilbe japonica 'Montgomery' , with red flowers, theAstilbe japonica and 'Peach Blossom', With peach pink flowers and the 'Foliis purpureis' with purple leaves and stems.

Astilbe astilboides it is also native to Japan and is similar to the species just seen from which it is distinguished by its larger size and more abundant, white blooms, which give their best in June.

Astilbe thunbergii, third species native to Japan and about 45 centimeters tall, with green leaves but tending to yellow and much smaller than average white flowers that sprout on erect and branched stems, white and blooms in May. Among the varieties of Thunbergii the 'Straussenfeder', with dark pink flowers and an anomalous height of one meter.

We continue with the Astilbe chinensis, this time originally from China and arrived in Europe only in the early twentieth century. It is a species of enormous size, up to two meters high, and consequently also quite large and dark green leaves and bulky roots. There are several varieties of Chinensis including the Astilbe chinensis davidii with inflorescences in the form of spikes up to 60 cm long in crimson magenta, and theAstilbe chinensis 'Pumila', as opposed to its small size which makes it perfect for growing in pots to produce lilac-pink flowers.

Astilbe Arendsii, name that is given to a set of hybrids obtained from a complicated series of crosses between japonica, thunbergii, astilboides and davidii in the early 1900s. They are varieties that can bloom from June to September and among all we remember the 'Fanal', with carmine red flowers about 75 centimeters high, the 'Beatrice' of maximum half a meter, with pink-purple flowers, and the 'Rock and roll', dwarf, maximum about thirty centimeters, with white flowers.

Also the Astilbe lemoinei is a hybrid resulting from the cross between Astilbe astilboides and Astilbe thunbergii which includes numerous varieties, all from 50 to 60 cm high and which bloom between May and June showing off different shades of red, pink, carmine, white.

Astilbe ruora it has Himalayan origin and reaches two meters in height, showing red hairy stems and petioles and bright pink flowers gathered in narrow panicles and consisting of five linear petals.

We end the review of species and varieties with l'Astilbe simplicifolia, maximum one meter high therefore dwarf and of Japanese origin that grows very slowly and blooms with different shades of white or deep pink. Its leaves are also beautiful.

Astilbe: how to grow it

It is not at all difficult to grow this plant but it is good to follow some valuable information. First of all, to obtain satisfactory results, it is good to reserve them shady and cool places with a fertile and humiferous soil, but above all humid or that remains constantly fresh at least during the good season. In every spring, if we are growing the plant in pots, we must repot as soon as the roots come out of the water drainage holes, while if we have placed them in the ground, these plants will have to stay in groups with a suitable distance of about half a meter. One last recommendation: at the end of flowering they mustcut off dry inflorescences and in late autumn the leaves are cut at the foot.

Astilbe: flowering

Almost all variety of Astilbe they bloom in the months of good weather, in spring and summer, exploding with their spikes of very soft and voluminous flowers, the flowers are small and deliciously shaped but they do well accumulated all together and create patches of color very pleasing to the eye, with colors that vary from white to red, from pink to lilac.

How much to water Astilbe

Being of the humid-loving plants it is natural that they must be wet very often, checking that the soil around them is never dry. This is why we often find them near water courses in nature. If we have them in pots, remember to keep regular watering increasing them in the summer months and in the driest periods of the year. In winter you can also avoid watering.

Astilbe: diseases

We are dealing with a plant that in general turns out to be quite resistant and therefore does not need too much protection from disease since it does not get sick. However, it is better to stay alert because it suffers from time to time attacks by aphids to its beautiful inflorescences. Another health hazard of Astilbe is the hot accompanied by drought but in this case it is enough to water them adequately to keep them healthy.

Astilbe: price and where to buy it

We can own one beautiful Astilbe plant even by purchasing one conveniently through Amazon. We will get a plant that is easy to grow and that will give us a lot of satisfaction if we follow those few cultivation tips just mentioned.

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