Original fluffy Astilbe metelets attract gardeners who want to decorate shady and even swampy places with highly decorative cultures. In natural areas of North America and East Asia you can meet about thirty wild species, of which a dozen have taken root in the culture and became the basis for creating new varieties.
Nowadays, to diversify the landscape design, Astilbe lovers can choose among all varieties dwarf, short, medium or tall.
There are also early varieties that bloom in June, medium ripening hybrids with mid-summer flowering and late flowering hybrids that appear in bloom at the end of the season.
The powerful, strongly branched Astilbe rhizome holds the ground with its numerous laced roots. Its reddish cuttings contain twice or three times cut leaves, giving it an attractive appearance all season – even without flowering. The spectacular inflorescences are collected on elongated pedicels and consist of tiny white flowers or all kinds of shades of red and pink.
Depending on the location in the garden area and the lighting that receives the astilba, planting and care will be adjusted, especially in the aspect of irrigation. Optimal conditions are fertile, perennially rich wet soil in the shade. However, it is also a good idea for this perennial plant to grow in a sunny place if the soil underneath is carefully groundulashed and the moisture stored. In this case, it will bloom for less time but more intensively. It is also important to understand that the plant may not be able to withstand a prolonged drought.
Astilbe care excludes some of the features that are common to most cultivated plants. It practically does not have to be weeded, as powerful rhizomes, growing, will muffle the weeds themselves.
In addition, you don’t have to cut down flowering weeds once they’ve blossomed: They’re quite attractive when they’re half-dry and can decorate the garden for the rest of the season.
However, you should not ignore the preparation of your astilbe for winter. Although it is classified as frost-resistant, old bushes risk becoming extinct in low snow and frosty winters, so they need to be well turbid in late autumn.
Young bushes are well protected against harsh winters by spruce stubs or special covering material. In warm times, it is useful to monitor the levels of phosphorus and potassium in the ground, which are necessary for harmonious development.
It’s not advisable to spend more than five years in one place. Plantations of this culture is recommended to be renewed periodically, dividing into several parts still unwoodened rhizomes. This procedure is carried out more often in spring or early autumn, after which young cuttings are immediately sent to the loose fertile soil. The plant is well received and ready to flower in a year.
For seed multiplication, the astilbus is sown in early spring in damp soil under a film. The small seedlings will appear after a couple of weeks. They can be sent out into the open soil at the end of spring. In order for the seedlings to grow strong, the soil should be regularly moistened to prevent it from drying out.