Care For Astilbe

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Monthly Care Tips
March If you have not already done so, cut back all astilbe stems and dead foliage in the early spring, and spread fresh mulch if it is needed to get that layer to 2 to 3 inches deep. For tips on mulching see the file Using Mulch
April Astilbes come as either bare root crowns or in containers. Plant the crowns in the early spring. Potted plants can be planted any time up through mid-August. Astilbes have hearty appetites. Sprinkle a handful of an all-purpose slow-acting granular fertilizer on the soil around each plant clump in the spring. For more info on fertilizers see the file About Fertilizers
Optional - Astilbes grow wider quickly through their spreading roots. To control their size and acquire more plants, divide the clumps every 3 to 5 years in the early spring.
June Astilbe will bloom in June through September depending on the variety. The nectar in Astilbe is attractive to butterflies, moths, beneficial insects, and hummingbirds. The blooms can be cut and air dried for dried flower arrangements. See files Drying Flowers and Flower Drying Supplies
Deadheading will not induce additional bloom.
July Important - Astilbe do not like to get dry. If you don't get sufficient rain, they need to be watered.Optional - While the spring fertilizing is fine for the season, astilbes will benefit from a boost in late July after they bloom. Sprinkle another small handful on the soil around each clump or spray their foliage with liquid fertilizer in late July or so.
August Important - Astilbe do not like to get dry. If you don't get sufficient rain, they need to be watered.Optional - Astilbe fronds are particularly useful and attractive in dried arrangements. Their feathery flower plumes shrink when air dried. See files Drying Flowers and Flower Drying Supplies
October If you want to have some winter interest in your garden bed, leave the astilbe flower heads so they can dry on their stems when they are finished blooming. When winter comes these airy dried flowers provide some visual relief in a bleak winter landscape.
November If you had a dry summer, be sure to have the Astilbe well watered before the ground freezes hard.Renew your mulch in the flower beds. In the winter it will buffer fluctuating soil temperatures to prevent repeated freezing and thawing of the soil from disturbing shallow astilbe roots.

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