I’m Light & Lovely
Perennial of the Week: Astilbe
Gardeners with shady patches are getting to know and love Astilbe. Deer resistant and shade tolerant, this lovely perennial proffers feathery plumes of red, white, pink, or lavender flowers. Over 100 hybrids of this plant have been cultivated throughout the years, so there is an Astilbe for every shade garden. There are compact varieties such as Hennie Graafland, which reaches only 16” high, and tall varieties like Purple Lance, which grows 3-4 feet high.
Often called “False Spirea,” Astilbe is low-maintenance and long-blooming. It also tolerates a variety of temperatures and climates, and prefers rich moist soil. In your garden, Astilbe adds bright color in the darker recesses under trees and between shrubs.
Astilbe is a great companion plant for Hostas, Ferns, and Hellebores. The flowers also look lovely as a cut flower in bouquets.
Inside or out, Astilbe brings color to even the darkest spaces in the shade garden.