Astilbe: characteristics, care and curiosity
Originating from Asia, the plants of the genus Astilbe are perennials characterized by a bushy growth that can reach over one meter in height, similarly recalling ferns. Their spread is given by the inflorescences that are generated during the warm period up to the first cold: they resemble rather plumed plumes that are tinged with different shades depending on the species. The main colors are white, pink, lilac or red, however plants with increasingly intense and different colors are placed on the market.
he Astilbe plants are rather rustic and undemanding, they can withstand even very cold climates with even -20 ° C, so they can be grown in areas where the climate is harsh and unfavorable. The best place to grow these shrubs is in the ground and in partial shade. Exposure affects flower production and foliage health.
Too bright light can damage tissues while too much shade causes a decrease in the production of inflorescences. These plants really like moist soils, so watering should be regular especially in hot periods. Together with water, liquid fertilizer can be administered every 2 weeks during growth and flowering. The substrate is important to ensure abundant flowering, in this case it is better to opt for loose soil, with organic matter and that retain moisture.
Growth on dry soils is tolerated even if the plants have less vigor. The multiplication occurs by sowing or by division of the tuft in spring.
Diseases and cures
Astilbe plants do not have particular problems about diseases and pests, but they have occasional attacks by aphids, especially if the weather is hot, which must be promptly removed so as not to damage the flowering. A problem not to be underestimated, however, is the drought, definitely not tolerated by the leaves and inflorescences.
The best cultivation in the garden of the Astilbe is in spots, that is, to be planted in random order and left to grow spontaneously. In a short time each head will produce a tall, round bush, creating colorful flowering areas that will amaze any observer.