Many flower growers, wanting to decorate their flower garden or personal plot, most often plant unpretentious perennials. With a minimum of effort, you can enjoy the vibrant colorful flowers every year without much hassle. Astilba also belongs to such picky plants. Its delicate, delicate foliage and inimitable, airy inflorescences will not leave indifferent any grower. Therefore, astilba, planting and caring for which in the open field is so easy that a beginner can cope with them, is gaining more and more recognition.
Description of the plant
Astilba belongs to the genus of perennial plants, and the family of Stonefragments. This flower received its name because both the leaves and the inflorescences do not have shine. "Astilbe" translated from Latin means "a" - "without", and "stilbe" - "shine". This feature was noticed and described by the Scottish biologist Hamilton.
In the wild, astilbe mainly grows in North America, Japan, East Asia. On the territory of endless Russia, these beautiful flowers can be found in the Far East.
Astilba is a herbaceous plant, the aerial part of which dies off with the onset of winter. The stem, on which, as a rule, one inflorescence is located, is erect. The height of flowers can range from 8 cm to 200 cm, depending on the variety and species.
Advice! Astilba grows and blooms best near a body of water, as well as when planted from the north side of the house, in the shade of trees or bushes
Astilbe leaves, planting and maintenance of which were carried out on time and according to the rules, are basal. Numerous foliage is formed on long petioles, the leaves are most often pinnate, dissected, the edges are jagged. Simple ones are extremely rare. The color of the leaves is dark green, sometimes reddish green or burgundy.
Astilba flowers are small, collected in voluminous apical inflorescences. The length of the flower panicles depends on the variety of flowers. Astilbe bloom from early June to late July. Some varieties can decorate the garden until mid-September. The flowering period depends on the variety of flowers and the climatic conditions of growth.
In general, the plant is not picky about the composition of the soil. After planting in the open field, astilbe requires minimal maintenance. The only thing worth considering is that flowers are very fond of moisture. Even a short dry period is reflected in the abundance and brightness of the flowering.
Often, planting and caring for astilba in the open ground (see photo) is carried out near artificial and natural reservoirs. In this case, a very lush, long and bright flowering is noted. Astilba covers the earth with a colorful, rich, airy carpet that will not leave anyone indifferent.
The color range of astilba colors is presented in a wide variety of shades - snow-white, pink, purple, pale lilac, bright red, crimson and even violet.
With a minimum of effort in growing and caring for astilba, you can enjoy a gorgeous and exuberant bloom from June to August. It is one of the few plants that thrives and blooms beautifully in partial shade. Astilba has very few enemies on the garden plot, and it is very rarely affected by any diseases.
Flower propagation methods
There are not so many ways of breeding astilba. Amateurs and professionals often use two methods of flower propagation: dividing the bush and cuttings. These are the most affordable and easily accomplished activities that a beginner can easily handle.
Astilbe seed propagation is extremely rare. Often, the seeds simply do not have time to ripen. In some varietal and hybrid flowers, the seed material is simply not able to maintain and transmit the signs of belonging to a particular variety.
Most often, breeders grow from astilbe seeds when creating new varieties and hybrids.
Dividing the bush
Dividing the astilba bush is the easiest way to propagate flowers. This can be done both in spring and autumn. To split a bush, you have to follow these steps:
- carefully, with a pitchfork, dig up the old bush, being careful not to damage the rhizome;
- remove dead parts of the root system, old, yellowed leaves;
- Divide the astilba bush so that each part has 4-5 renewal buds and a good root system. It is desirable to do this with a perfectly clean and sharp knife.
- Be sure to treat the cuts with crushed charcoal.
Planting astilba rhizome in spring is practically no different from the planting activities of other plants. The only difference is that you need to water the flowers after planting daily and abundantly. If you manage to plant astilba in the spring, before the vegetative period begins, and are not late with the deadlines, then in a couple of months you will be able to enjoy the charming and inimitable flowers.
How to separate the kidney renewal
Since astilba also reproduces with the help of root cuttings, it is important to correctly separate the renewal buds from the main bush.
Take a close look at the astilba bush. On the side where there are good, promising young buds, which are guaranteed to become shoots next year, you need to carefully move a small layer of soil. A part of the bush is separated with a clean, disinfected knife. Please note that in addition to 2-3 full, well-developed buds, each part also had a piece of the root system.
Plant future flowers on a separate bed before transplanting them to a permanent place. It is advisable to create greenhouse conditions for the flowers - a small greenhouse or film shelter will come in handy. Subsequent care after planting astilba in open ground is reduced only to regular watering and airing.
If you separated the buds in the spring, then in the fall a young, rooted bush can be transplanted into a flower garden. If the procedure for dividing astilba was carried out in the fall, flowers can be transplanted only in the spring.
The only disadvantage of this method of reproduction of astilba by cuttings is that you can see the first inflorescences only after a year.
When can be transplanted and seated
Before propagating astilba, it is important to decide when you can plant flowers, what time of year and what time frame is most acceptable.
In spring, astilba flowers wake up after hibernation a couple of weeks later than other perennials. To start a stable growing process, the thermometer should not fall below + 10˚С + 12˚С.
In regions with a mild climate and relatively warm winters, the first green leaves of astilba do not appear until late April or early May. In areas with a more severe climate, the first signs of flower development appear only at the end of May or even at the beginning of June.
Therefore, there is no need to rush with planting astilba and the subsequent care of flowers, since the plants can freeze during the period of spring frosts. However, you should not delay with this event either, otherwise it will be more difficult for flowers to transfer the transplantation process in the heat.
The optimal time to propagate astilba in the spring by dividing the bush will be the beginning of the growing season as soon as the first green shoots appear.
In the fall, planting astilba in open ground is necessary taking into account the fact that flowers will need at least 1.5-2 months for successful rooting and full preparation for the upcoming cold weather.
Choosing a suitable place
Before planting astilba, it is important to decide what places the plant prefers, and what it needs for lush and lush flowering and active growth.
When growing astilba outdoors, it is important to comply with a number of requirements:
- the plant prefers soft, diffused lighting;
- astilba grows beautifully and blooms violently in the shade of buildings or trees;
- the flower is unpretentious in relation to the composition of the soil, the main condition is that it should be light and retain moisture well;
- is critical of moisture stagnation, which can threaten with rotting of the root system.
So that the flowers do not suffer from dry air, it is advisable to determine a place near small bodies of water for planting astilba in open ground.
Preparing the site
Preparation of a site for growing astilba in the open field does not require special efforts. Water abundantly a couple of days before the proposed work, and then dig up the soil in the flower garden where you will plant astilba. If necessary, apply complex mineral fertilizers if the soil is poor, or sand if the soil is heavy.
Leave the area alone for a few days. After this time, you can safely transplant Astilba flowers into open ground.
We plant plants in the ground
When growing astilba, the distance between the planting pits should be from 15 to 30 cm, depending on the variety and height of the plant. The holes are prepared in such a way that the root system of flowers is located in the hole quite freely. The approximate size of the holes is 30 cm X 30 cm.
At the bottom of each landing hole, you need to add:
- humus or compost - 2 handfuls;
- bone meal or ash - 1 cup.
Place the astilba rhizome in the hole so that the renewal buds slightly "look out" from under the surface of the earth. Once planted, the flowers are watered abundantly and cared for.
How demanding plants are in terms of care
Caring for the incomparable astilba after landing is easy. Both a busy and a novice florist will be able to cope with ordinary events:
- regular hilling;
- abundant watering;
- timely feeding;
- pruning after flowering;
- weeding and mulching.
A feature of astilba is the superficial growth of the root system. The roots of flowers during the period of formation and active growth do not deepen, but, as it were, grow on top of the soil layer.
For this reason, a slight elevation can be seen under the astilba bushes after a year. After a couple of years, the root mound will increase in size. Therefore, the main procedure in caring for astilba after planting in the open field is the regular hilling of the root zone.
The bigger, the better
Astilbe watering is needed according to the "the more the better" scheme. Do not allow the soil in the flower garden to be covered with a dry crust even for a short time. The plant immediately reacts to a lack of moisture with lethargy of foliage, shedding of flowers, a decrease in the splendor of flowering, the scarcity of color of flowers and large gaps in the inflorescences.
During drought and flowering, plants should be watered at least twice a day. It is best to perform this procedure early in the morning and after sunset, so as not to provoke sunburn.
However, pouring water on astilba is also not worth it. Stagnant moisture is no less detrimental to flowers. Keeping the soil in the flower garden moist will be enough for the plants.
When and how to feed
The next step in caring for perennial astilba after planting (photo) is regular feeding. The first time you fertilized a plant was during planting. Subsequently, you have to feed the flowers according to the following scheme:
- in the spring, feed the flowers with nitrogen fertilizers;
- after wilting - potash and phosphorus fertilizing.
This will help the plant to regain strength after flowering and fully prepare for the winter frost. Astilba will not require more from you.
Astilba is quite resistant to cold weather, so often a good layer of mulch is enough for it to endure winter frosts down to -35˚C - 37˚C. Residents of regions with a harsh climate should take more careful care of the shelter of the perennial astilbe.
When the temperature drops in spring, young, immature shoots of the plant can freeze out. Therefore, in the spring, take care of the shelter of the flowers when there is a threat of frost and renew the mulching layer. It will help protect weak shoots from frost and help simplify the care of astilba after planting in open ground.
When to trim
Pruning of wilting inflorescences after abundant flowering must be carried out in the first years after the reproduction of astilbe by division or by cuttings. This operation will allow the flowers to direct all their energies to the formation and growth of the root system, as well as the formation of new renewal buds, which will bloom profusely next year.
However, some growers do not prune astilba, leaving branches with dried inflorescences on the bushes, which gives the garden a special, bewitching look. Before the onset of winter, flowers will still need to be cut to a height of 5-10 cm above the ground.
Mulch or not
In order to simplify the care of astilba after planting (see photo), it is advisable to mulch the soil in the flower garden. This simple procedure will help to retain moisture and reduce the rate of growth and the number of weeds in the garden.
The following materials can be used as a suitable mulch for flowers:
- pieces of bark, large chips;
- chopped straw;
- pebbles, expanded clay.
When growing and caring for astilba in the garden, you need to regularly update the mulch layer. It will help flowers to calmly endure winter frosts.
You need to transplant and plant flowers at least once every 4-5 years. Otherwise, the root system weakens, the period decreases and the abundance of astilba flowering decreases. The optimal time to divide the old bush into several young ones is the beginning of autumn or the end of spring.
Who or what can threaten flowers
The reason for the growing popularity of astilbe lies not only in its decorativeness and unpretentiousness. This plant is avoided by the disease and most insect pests.
It is extremely rare that the root flower system is affected by the rootworm nematode. These parasites practically do not respond to the treatment of plants with even the most powerful drugs. Therefore, pest control is reduced to the removal and destruction of the affected bushes. At the same time, it is advisable to remove from the site part of the soil in which the flowers grew.
It is impossible to grow astilba in the same place for 4-5 years.
The slobbering penny is also a danger to flowers. The appearance of astilba and small, white lumps of foam will tell you that the plant has become a haven for slobber.
In general, the flowers become lethargic, astilbe grows poorly, the growth of green mass slows down. And in the foamy lumps that appear on the leaves, insect larvae develop. The only way to deal with the penny is to collect insects and larvae by hand from the foliage of the plant.
The author of the video will tell and show you how to properly plant Astilba in open ground.
Planting and caring for astilba in the open field, as you can see, is not particularly difficult. But these picky and shade-loving flowers can decorate any corner of your garden. Just imagine these delicate, weightless clouds of various colors! Luxurious and inimitable astilbes deserve to take their place on any personal plot. During the period of exuberant flowering, they bloom with bright colors and will give you true pleasure.