Astilbe or Astilbe (lat. Astilbe) belongs to the genus of perennials from the family of Saxifragaceae or Saxifragaceae. This genus unites eighteen species.
Correctly planting and growing an astilbe in a flower bed or in a garden is quite simple. The plant is unpretentious enough and its cultivation does not cause problems even for beginner growers. However, to understand why astilbe grows poorly, one should know the botanical features of the culture.
A perennial variety of a herbaceous plant is characterized by the presence of the aerial part dying in the winter. The average height of the erect stem can vary greatly depending on species characteristics - within 8-200 cm. The presence of numerous basal leaves, which are located on long petioles, is also characteristic.
Leaves have a dark green or reddish green color. Flowers are small in size. Depending on the variety, they can be white or pink, lilac, red or purple and gather in apical panicle inflorescences. Flowering time may vary. Most often, decorative culture blooms in the summer, after which a fruit box with seeds is formed, with which you can propagate the astilbe to decorate a garden or summer cottage.
Astilba: growing and care
Description of the best varieties
A detailed description of varietal forms of astilbe allows you to make the right choice - in favor of the most suitable plants in terms of decorativeness and the most unpretentious. About ten species of plants are widely used in culture, on the basis of which, thanks to selection, many hybrid forms and varieties were obtained.
Hybrid Astilba Arends or Astilbe arendsii became popular due to the ability to grow and develop well in partial shade and high winter hardiness. In addition, this decorative culture is practically not affected by diseases and pests.
|Title||Latin name||Plant height||Leaves||Bloom|
|"Amethyst"||Astilbe arendsii "Amethyst"||100 cm||Green||Lush, lilac flowers|
|Bumalda||Astilbe arendsii "Bumalda"||40-60 cm||With a reddish tint||Inflorescences are white with a slight crimson hue|
|Spartan||Astilbe arendsii "Spartan"||80 cm||Dark green, glitter||The flowers are small, fragrant, bright red, collected in a dense, conical type, paniculate inflorescence.|
|Etna||Astilbe arendsii "Etna"||60 cm||Dark green, glitter||The inflorescence is large, openwork, panicled saturated red|
|Ellie||Astilbe japonica "Ellie"||50-60 cm||Dark green, tough, deep cut||Large, openwork, panicled white inflorescence|
Astilba Chinese, from the Latin Astilbe chinensis, is a perennial herb. It is widely used in home gardening and landscape design due to its unpretentiousness and high decorativeness at the flowering stage.
|Title||Latin name||Plant height||Leaves||Bloom|
|Visions in red||Astilbe chinensis "Visions in Red"||0.4-0.5 m||Green||Fluffy inflorescences of dark raspberry staining|
|"Pumila"||Astilbe chinensis "Pumila"||30 cm||Dark green||Lilac-pink flowers|
|Milk and Honey||Astilbe chinensis "Milk and Honey"||70-80 cm||Light green, darken over time||Creamy white with a pinkish tint powerful inflorescences|
|Hurt & Soul||Astilbe chinensis "Heart and Soul"||50-60 cm||Bipartite, green with a reddish tint||Large, fluffy pale pink with a purple tinge of inflorescences|
|Superba||Astilbe chinensis "Superba"||100 cm||Green||Lilac-pink inflorescences collected in openwork panicles|
Astilba Japanese or Astilbe japonica differs from other types of decorative culture in small densely growing leaves with a pronounced ornament. The average height of an adult plant does not exceed 80 cm. After drying, the inflorescences practically do not lose their shape and continue to serve as a decoration of the flower garden until mid-autumn.
|Title||Latin name||Plant height||Leaves||Bloom|
|Montgomery||Astilbe japonica "Montgomery"||50-60 cm||Bright green||Inflorescences of red staining|
|Bremen||Astilbe japonica "Bremen"||40-50 cm||Emerald shade||Small raspberry flowers collected in wide fluffy panicles|
|"Vesuvius"||Astilbe japonica "Vesuvius"||60 cm||Complex, delicate, glossy, with burgundy petioles||Small, fragrant, collected in panicled inflorescence of fiery red staining|
|Bonn||Astilbe japonica "Bonn"||70 cm||Dark green and shiny||Large, openwork, panicle inflorescence of dark carmine or pink color|
|"Cologne"||Astilbe japonica "Köln"||50-80 cm||Brownish green staining||Dense fluffy carmine pink inflorescences|
|Deutschland||Astilbe japonica "Deutschland"||50 cm||Dark green, glossy, on reddish petioles||Small-flowered inflorescence of light pink staining|
Experienced flower growers recommend planting a plant in the spring. The best way to plant astilba in open ground is the end of March or the beginning of May. It is also allowed to plant a flower in the fall.
Planting or replanting is recommended on the north side of the household, in the shade of trees or shrubs. Some varieties and hybrid forms are suitable for growing in areas well lit by the sun, where they bloom as profusely as possible, but for a short time. Loamy soils with high levels of groundwater are preferred for astilbe. The optimum acidity is pH 5.5-6.5.
Before planting, a deep digging of the soil should be carried out with the removal of all weed vegetation and the introduction of compost, rotted manure or rotted peat. When applying fertilizers, you should count on average a pair of buckets for each square meter of landing area. Planting pits should have a size of 20 x 30 cm. The standard distance between plants is about 30-35 cm. After planting, it is recommended to mulch humus or peat.
The most convenient planting material from the point of view of reproduction is the parts of the rhizome of astilbe. It is necessary to plant a rhizome of a rhizome that has at least a pair of sleeping kidneys. It is necessary to use material exclusively from a healthy adult plant. Reproduction using part of the rhizome is carried out in early spring.
For planting, an even area with fertile soil should be allocated. Pre-prepare the landing holes, in which you first need to pour the nutrient mixture based on peat and sand. The process of rooting a planted delenka takes about two or three weeks, so this method of reproduction is very popular in home gardening.
A less common way to grow astilbe is to produce seedlings by sowing seeds. It should be remembered that the seed material of hybrid forms is not able to preserve the characteristic varietal characteristics, so the seeds collected in their own personal plot are not suitable for sowing.
Astilba sowing technology is as follows:
- thoroughly mix equal parts of peat and river sand;
- fill the landing tanks with the drainage hole with the mixture;
- lay on a slightly tamped mixture a layer of snow with a thickness of not more than a centimeter;
- on top of the snow, carefully lay out very small astilbe seeds;
- after the snow melts and the seeds sink into the soil, the container should be removed in a cool place or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator;
- about a month after sowing, the container should be moved to a warmer and brighter room.
Before the emergence of mass shoots, it is very important to maintain a constant soil moisture by spraying it from a spray bottle with room temperature water. After the appearance of a pair of true leaves, flower seedlings must be dived while plucking a third of the root. Strong seedlings are planted in open ground in the last decade of spring or early summer.
Rules for outdoor cultivation
Proper care of astilbe allows you to decorate the site with abundant and long-flowering decorative culture. It is not difficult to take care of the plant, it is enough to carry out the following activities in a timely manner:
- throughout the growing season, the decorative flower culture should be fed with basic complex fertilizers;
- to obtain abundant and prolonged flowering of astilbe, it is necessary to enrich the root layer of the soil with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus;
- in the early spring it is advisable to apply about 25-30 g of complex fertilizers for each square meter of plantings;
- in mid-summer, plants need top dressing with potassium nitrate at the rate of a couple of tablespoons per bucket of water;
- superphosphate top dressing completing the flowering season involves the addition of 20-22 g per plant in the form of a solution;
- astilba belongs to the category of hygrophilous plants, and excessive overdrying of the soil layer negatively affects its growth and development, therefore, in especially hot and dry summer weather, the plant must be watered daily in the morning and evening;
- Regular and plentiful irrigation measures at the stage of active formation of inflorescences are especially important;
- in order to maintain optimal moisture indicators, it is recommended to mulch the soil with sawdust;
- To prevent damage to major diseases and pests, astilbe should be treated several times a season with Confidor, Actara and Karbofos.
After flowering, the obligatory pruning of the peduncles is carried out. It is very important to take into account the fact that in conditions of a snowless winter many varieties freeze, therefore, in the autumn period it is advisable to mulch peat with subsequent cover with spruce spruce branches.
Astilba is very much appreciated not only by professional landscape designers, but also amateur gardeners due to lush, long flowering, as well as unpretentiousness. Grow it even for beginner growers. In favorable conditions, with regular care, astilba can grow for at least fifteen years in one place.
It is very important to choose the right site for the cultivation of this decorative plant. Astilba develops best in the presence of slight shading. In this case, it is possible to obtain the most saturated color of the leaves and the most vivid flowering. When a flower crop is planted in open ground in very sunny areas, flowering is short and the leaves may turn yellow and dry in a short time. Strong shading also negatively affects flowering.
As a rule, the propagation of astilbe is carried out by vegetative and seed methods. Vegetative propagation of ornamental culture involves the division of an adult bush and reproduction by the kidneys. The seed method makes it possible to obtain new varieties of astilbe.
Sowing of pre-stratified seeds is carried out at the beginning or in the middle of March. Seed should be placed in a planting container with a depth of 15-17 cm, filled with a sand-peat mixture and covered with a layer of snow. Gradually melting snow moistens the soil and immerses the seeds to the depth necessary for development. Crops should be covered with foil and placed for three weeks in a cool room. After the appearance of a pair of real leaves, a dive is carried out. Further care is to irrigate and maintain the temperature at 20-22 ° C.
Most often, in conditions of home gardening, astilbe is propagated by dividing adult plants. In this case, the root extracted from the soil is cut into several parts with buds with a sharp garden knife. High-quality planting material should not be overdried and have at least four healthy, viable kidneys. The division of the bushes should be carried out in the early spring. After planting, plants need to provide high-quality, regular watering.
Kidney propagation is one of the simplest and fastest ways to obtain a new, abundantly flowering plant. Such propagation is carried out in the spring, when the shoots of the decorative culture start moving into active growth. With a sharp and clean garden knife, you should cut the kidneys with the beginning of the rhizome, after which you need to sprinkle the slices with wood ash. The resulting planting material is planted in a mixture of three parts of peat and part of gravel, and then covered with a film in order to create a greenhouse effect. Young and strong plants are transplanted to a permanent place in the early autumn period or only next spring.
How to plant an astilbe
Application in garden design
The most popular in landscape design are high decorative
garden forms. Astilba perfectly adjacent to the hosts, and the leaves of the host are able to maintain optimal soil moisture and prevent the root system of the decorative culture from overheating on hot days.
Plants are very decorative even in the absence of inflorescences, and also do not require pruning and too much shelter for the winter. The absolute unpretentiousness of the decorative culture made it possible to grow astilbe in not very favorable soil and climatic conditions. Flowering plants are successfully cultivated not only in central Russia and the Moscow Region, but also in the Urals and Siberia.