Astilbe hybrids

Astilbe 'Rheinland' in full flower

Astilbe hybrids are clump-forming perennials that form mounds of dark green, ferny foliage.  They bloom red, pink, white and lavender in upright or slightly arching plumes.  Astilbes are valuable in moist shade for long-lasting color. Performs best in evenly moist soil.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

 

Botanical name:

Astilbe

All Common Names:

Astilbe, Arends' astilbe, False spirea

Family (English):

Saxifrage

Family (Botanic):

Saxifragaceae

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Perennial

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Foundation,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border

Size Range:

  • Large plant (more than 24 inches),
  • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
  • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil

Tolerances:

  • Wet sites

Season of Interest:

  • Early summer,
  • Mid summer,
  • Late summer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Pink,
  • Purple,
  • Red,
  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Mounded,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:

Size

18 to 36" tall and 12-18" wide

Plant Care

Keep soil moist in spring and summer. 
Heavy feeders, astilbe prefer spring fertilization.
Divide or plant in early spring or by mid-September every three to four years when crowded.
Wait until spring to cut back.

Disease, pests, and problems

No serious problems.  Lack of moisture in spring and mid-summer can cause poor flowering or leaf die-back.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Deer and rabbit resistant.  Black walnut toxicity tolerant.

Native geographic location and habitat

Southeast Asia.  Prefers evenly moist, shady areas.

Attracts birds or pollinators

Butterflies

Leaf description

Deep green, pinnately compound leaves divided into small toothed, oval leaflets.  Often copper-colored when young.

Flower description

Plumes of pink, red, white or lavender flowers.  Flower stems often upright or slightly arching.

Fruit description

Tiny seed capsules on flower stems.  Spent flowers can be ornamental in fall and winter.

Cultivars and their differences

COLOR FLASH® Astilbe  (Astilbe ×arendsii 'Beauty of Ernst' ):  More petite than the others, this cultivar is 10 to 12 inches tall by 15 to 18 inches wide.  The mature leaves are various shade of purple, green and burgundy, which turn gold, rust and orange in the fall.  Pale pink flowers arrive mid to late summer.
 
Chocolate Shogun Astilbe (Astilbe 'Chocolate Shogun'):  This cultivar is 18 to 24 inches tall with deep chocolate-colored leaves, which maintain their dark color through the summer.  Bright pink flowers.
 
Delft Lace Astilbe (Astilbe 'Delft Lace'):  The 2 to 3 feet tall red stems carry soft pink to apricot flowers.  The leaves form large clumps with a silvery tint.
 
Deutschland Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii 'Deutschland'): A graceful astilbe with bright white flowers, which can brighten a shade garden.  In flower, the plant is 18 to 24 inches tall by 12 to 18 inches wide with bright green foliage.
 
Fanal Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii 'Fanal'):  A moderate grower,  Fanal Astilbe reaches 12 to 18 inches tall by 12 inches wide.  Deep raspberry red flowers on bronzy foliage in June and July.
 
Rheinland Astilbe (Astilbe 'Rheinland'): Lacy, clear pink blooms grow to 2 feet tall by 18 to 24 inches wide.  Green foliage forms green mounds.
 
 

Location of Astilbe (Astilbe hybrids) at the Arboretum