Astilbe

Astilbe flowering above ferns in the shade

Zones: 3 to 9 (depending on the variety)
Height: 18″ to 48″ (depending on the variety)
Spread: 18″
Bloom Time: Early to mid summer

Although I use dwarf Astilbe to edge shaded borders and as ground cover, there are several taller varieties that compliment hostas and do well in the shade.

Be sure to check the tags for shade tolerance, since some Astilbe actually require sun.

These perennials generally need a consistently moist soil and do best in a humus-rich environment.  Thus mulching is beneficial.

It does not need dead heading.  In fact, the faded plumes provide interest and bird food in the winter.

Astilbe is rabbit and deer resistant.

My Favorite Varieties

Astilbe Japonica 'Red Sentinel' ©olgabungova - stock.adobe.com
©olgabungova – stock.adobe.com

A. Japonica ‘Red Sentinel’ – pictured above (Zone 4 – 9): Nice feathery deep red flowers on a hardy plant that like shade. When it blooms in July, it will be 30 inches tall and will stand out among the surrounding plants, particularly if it is planted in multiples. Buy it HERE.*

A. arendsii ‘Amethyst’ (Zone 4 – 8): The flowers of this Astilbe are a true lilac/purple color that looks stunning in the shade. Grows to 36 inches tall. Get it HERE.*

A. arendsii ‘Chocolate Shogun’ (Zone 4 – 8): A new introduction, sporting dark glossy chocolate colored foliage and peachy/pink pentacles.  This one is on my list for sure! Find it HERE.

A. chinensis ‘Black Pearls’ (Zone 3 – 8): This late bloomer has purple flowers tinged in blue that steal the show in mid to late summer. Fernlike dark green leaves keep the plant looking beautiful even when it isn’t blooming. Grows to 28 inches. Get it HERE.*

A. chinensis ‘Mighty Chocolate Cherry’ (Zone 3 – 8):  The tallest astilbe at up to 4 feet with huge bright pink plumes on dark green ferny foliage. A real focal point in the woodland garden.  Find it HERE.

A. ‘Fireworks Pink’ (Zone 4 – 8): New to the market this year, this compact astilbe is different from the upright habit of other astilbes, in that the peachy/pink plumes are arching.  It grows 18-24 inches high and needs some sun.  Imagine the thrill of seeing Fireworks pink astilbe in bloom positioned among dark wine heuchera. Gorgeous! Get it HERE.*

Astilbe flowering above ferns in the shade

Zones: 3 to 9 (depending on the variety)
Height: 18″ to 48″ (depending on the variety)
Spread: 18″
Bloom Time: Early to mid summer

Although I use dwarf Astilbe to edge shaded borders and as ground cover, there are several taller varieties that compliment hostas and do well in the shade.

Be sure to check the tags for shade tolerance, since some Astilbe actually require sun.

These perennials generally need a consistently moist soil and do best in a humus-rich environment.  Thus mulching is beneficial.

It does not need dead heading.  In fact, the faded plumes provide interest and bird food in the winter.

Astilbe is rabbit and deer resistant.

My Favorite Varieties

Astilbe Japonica 'Red Sentinel' ©olgabungova - stock.adobe.com
©olgabungova – stock.adobe.com

A. Japonica ‘Red Sentinel’ – pictured above (Zone 4 – 9): Nice feathery deep red flowers on a hardy plant that like shade. When it blooms in July, it will be 30 inches tall and will stand out among the surrounding plants, particularly if it is planted in multiples. Buy it HERE.*

A. arendsii ‘Amethyst’ (Zone 4 – 8): The flowers of this Astilbe are a true lilac/purple color that looks stunning in the shade. Grows to 36 inches tall. Get it HERE.*

A. arendsii ‘Chocolate Shogun’ (Zone 4 – 8): A new introduction, sporting dark glossy chocolate colored foliage and peachy/pink pentacles.  This one is on my list for sure! Find it HERE.

A. chinensis ‘Black Pearls’ (Zone 3 – 8): This late bloomer has purple flowers tinged in blue that steal the show in mid to late summer. Fernlike dark green leaves keep the plant looking beautiful even when it isn’t blooming. Grows to 28 inches. Get it HERE.*

A. chinensis ‘Mighty Chocolate Cherry’ (Zone 3 – 8):  The tallest astilbe at up to 4 feet with huge bright pink plumes on dark green ferny foliage. A real focal point in the woodland garden.  Find it HERE.

A. ‘Fireworks Pink’ (Zone 4 – 8): New to the market this year, this compact astilbe is different from the upright habit of other astilbes, in that the peachy/pink plumes are arching.  It grows 18-24 inches high and needs some sun.  Imagine the thrill of seeing Fireworks pink astilbe in bloom positioned among dark wine heuchera. Gorgeous! Get it HERE.*

A. thunbergii ‘Ostrich Plume’ (Zone 4 – 8): Large weeping bright pink plumes on a plant that tolerates full shade. Buy it HERE.

A. thunbergii ‘Ostrich Plume’ (Zone 4 – 8): Large weeping bright pink plumes on a plant that tolerates full shade. Buy it HERE.

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