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Astilbe brings a graceful, feathering note to moist, shady landscapes. In cooler climates in the northern third or so of the country, it can tolerate full sun provided it has a constant supply of moisture. In drier sites, however, the leaves will scorch in full sun.
Feathery plumes of white, pink, lavender, or red flowers rise above the finely divided foliage from early to late summer depending on the variety. It will spread slowly over time where well-situated. Most commercially available types are complex hybrids.
Part Sun, Shade
Under 6 inches to 8 feet
18-30 inches wide
more varieties for Astilbe
'Color Flash' astilbe
Astilbe 'Color Flash' features beautiful foliage that emerges bright green and ages to bronze, copper, and russet, providing season-long interest. Zones 4-8
Dwarf Chinese astilbe
Astilbe chinensis 'Pumila' is a low-growing groundcover with glossy green foliage only 6 inches tall. Grape-scented lavender bloom spires reach only 1 foot tall. Zones 4-8
Astilbe 'Fanal' is one of the best red-flowering types. It blooms in midsummer with dark red flowers on reddish-bronze leaves. It grows to 2 feet tall. Zones 4-8
Astilbe 'Federsee' bears dense rose-pink blooms on upright stems to 3 feet tall. It has better drought tolerance than most astilbes. Zones 4-8
'Ostrich Plume' astilbe
Astilbe 'Ostrich Plume' offers large, weeping pink flower clusters that bring elegance to the woodland border. The 30- to 36-inch-tall panicles form in late spring to early summer. Zones 4-8
Astilbe 'Sprite' won the Perennial Plant of the Year Award in 1994. Its airy light pink flower panicles are highly branched and appear over glossy green-toothed foliage. Zones 4-8
Superba Chinese astilbe
Astilbe chinensis taquetti is a large plant, growing to 4 feet tall. It bears magenta flowers in mid- to late summer on shiny, dark green leaves. Zones 4-8
plant Astilbe with
This plant hardly grown 40 years ago is now one of the most commonly grown garden plants. But hosta has earned its spot in the hearts of gardeners -- it's among the easiest plants to grow, as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall.Hostas vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that can be puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged -- the variations are virtually endless. Hostas in new sizes and touting new foliage features seem to appear each year. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer. Some are intensely fragrant. Hostas are a favorite of slug and deer.
Exciting new selections with incredible foliage patterns have put coralbells on the map. Previously enjoyed mainly for their spires of dainty reddish flowers, coralbells are now grown as much for the unusual mottling and veining of different-color leaves. The low clumps of long-stemmed evergreen or semi-evergreen lobed foliage make coralbells fine groundcover plants. They enjoy humus-rich, moisture-retaining soil. Beware of heaving in areas with very cold winters.
One of the most elegant ferns available for your garden, Japanese painted ferns are washed with gorgeous silver and burgundy markings. Lady fern is equally elegant though not quite as showy. Either will add interest and texture to your shady spots. Closely related to each other, Japanese painted fern and lady fern are sometimes crossed with each other to create attractive hybrids.Unlike most ferns, these toughies will tolerate dry soil. And they will tolerate some sun if they have ample water.