The Astilbe is a genus from the Saxifragaceae family and is native to parts of Asia. Common names for Astilbe are false goat’s beard and false spirea.
The Astilbe is perennial and available in different heights and with flowers plumes in white, pink, red and lilac. The leaves are also different per variety. They are perfect plants for a shaded, damp spot where they excel with their fluffy flower plumes.
The flower plumes are excellent for cutting. Removing the flower plumes will not promote continued flowering. The Astilbe does not need full sun to produce flowers, but a bit of sunlight will help produce larger flowers plumes.
Astilbes prefer moist, well-drained soil that is humus rich and neutral to acidic. In chalky soils the leaves may turn yellow (chlorosis). If the soil is moist enough false goat’s beards tolerate more sun. In full sun the bloom is shorter than in part shade or shade. False goat’s beards are perfect for along the waterside and in bogy locations as long as their feet are not constantly in the water.
The Astilbe forms a clump that gradually spreads. Over time the crown rises above the soil and growth may become less vigorous. You can dig up the clump, divide it and replant the divisions. It is best to do this in early spring or in the autumn.
The Astilbe dies to the ground in the winter. It is best if you cut the dead stems in early spring to make room for the new growth.
The Astilbe japonica ‘Deutschland’ is very easy to care for. It produces quite a lot of flower plumes even in very shady spots if the ground is moist enough. The flower plumes start to bloom at the end of May and stay beautiful for a long time. This false goat’s beard can withstand being under water for a short period of time. The Astilbe japonica ‘Deutschland’ tolerates quite some drought, but the combination of drought and little sun results in little to no flowers.
The leaves grow up to about 60 cm (24 inches). The flowers plumes rise above the leaves. It is a strong growing plant. At the beginning of April the leaves appear. They are red at first and soon turn green.
Attracts bees: no
Characteristic: newly emerging every year
Exposure: part shade/shade
Flower colour: white
Flowering time: May - July
Foliage colour: green
Fragrant flower: no
Hardiness: -30 ºC (-22 ºF)
Height: 60 cm (24 inches)