Astilbe Roots – How to Grow

Astilbe fanal roots are a group of Late Spring, Early Summer flowering perennials with tall, feathery flower heads that rise up above dense clumps of bronze green foliage. These versatile plants can be used in some of the most difficult sites in gardens including damp soils and partial shade. Their distinctive plumes of showy blooms offer something different that will stand out in your borders. The tall spikes which can reach a length of up to 2 feet, contrast very well with dense & fine foliage plants such as hebes & buxus, while the Astilbes combine very well with light & fine foliage plants such as ferns & especially grasses

To give your plants the best start it is important to take care when planting the roots

Astilbe Location

Astilbes grow best in partial shade. They prefer moist soils that will not dry out and good fertility. Avoid sunny spots as their foliage is prone to burning or scorching in full sun. Also avoid well draining soils

If you have a free draining soil there are two things that you can do you improve the growing conditions for astilbes.

Firstly dig out a large planting hole, approx. 2.5ft x 2.5f and 1ft deep. Line the base of the hole with weed membrane (which is porous) or perforated plastic sheeting. You can then back fill this hole with garden soil.

Next add a fork full of well rotted farm yard manure. This manure will improve soil fertility & also improve water retention in the soil. The result will mean that your soil will hold water for longer creating the ideal growing conditions for your Astilbe plants

You should avoid full shade as your plants will not flower as well in full shade

Astilbe Planting

Before plant you can soak the roots in cool water for 10 minutes. The ideal depth for Astilbes is 10 – 15cm below the soil surface with the roots pointing downwards. Once your roots are sown firm the soil in well then sprinkle over the soil surface with some phosphorus fertiliser and water the roots in well

It is recommended  to label the area so that you can safely weed around your plants & not mistake the emerging shoots for a weed.

Astilbe companion plants

  • Grasses: Stipa Tenuissima, Pennisetum & Carex Bronze Curls
  • Contrasting plants: Hostas, Buxus, Hebes, Heuchera & Hydrangea (See image above)
  • Similar plants: Ferns, Filipendula

Astilbe Varieties

  • Fanal – These have dark green / bronze foliage which is fern like
  • Venus – Light green foliage, also fern like