The genus Astilbe has more than 30 species - herbaceous or semi-shrubby rhizomatous perennial relatively resistant plants. They are characterized by elegant elongated paniculate inflorescences of various colors (white, cream, yellow, pink and red, with different color transitions). The leaves are also very decorative, twice and thrice divided; the rhizome is branched, growing upwards.
Astilba Arendsa (Astilbe x arendsii) is a group of modern varieties and garden forms (bred by successive artificial selection) with a height of 0.5-1.0 m. the Leaves are usually dark green, dissected. From the end of May to August, bright pyramidal brushes appear on the plants. The color of inflorescences can be from white to pink and bright red.
Chinese dwarf astilba (A. chinensis pumila) grows up to 20-30 cm in height. In the period from June to the end of September, pink or reddish-pink brushes are formed on it-inflorescences 30-35 cm long.
Astilba wrinkled (A. x crispa) is a plant 15-20 cm tall, characterized by ovate and deeply indented, sometimes rough leaves. The color of the flowers is salmon-pink. In some varieties, it is dark pink, in various shades.
Astilba Davida (A. davidii) can grow up to 2 m in height. Toothed leaves initially, as soon as they appear, have a bronze color, later they turn dark green. In July-August, the plant blooms pinkish-red small flowers collected in a narrow pyramidal brush up to 60 cm long.
The height of the large astilba (A. grandis) is 1.2 - 1.8 m. the leaves are slightly pubescent. In July, white or white-cream flowers bloom, collected in long (70-90 cm) inflorescences.
Japanese astilba (A. japonica) is a plant with a height of 30-40 cm. In May-June, white flowers bloom, collected in loose brushes 15-20 cm long. The leaves are bipinnate with reddish petioles.
Astilba variegated (A. simplicifolia) grows up to 40 cm. The leaves are oval, dissected. In summer, pink flowers appear in various shade transitions or white, collected in inflorescences 10-15 cm long.
Astilba is grown in gardens and parks, on lawns, flower beds, in mix borders, mainly in wet places. It is used as a cutting culture. In the garden, plants are planted in the spring. The soil is constantly moistened and mulched with leaf or peat humus, as astilba does not like dry soils. In the air, it can also be grown in a pot, given that some forms do not tolerate severe frosts, so in winter they should be removed indoors. Without transplanting, it is recommended to grow astilba for no more than 4-5 years, optimally-3 years.
In the warm season, once every 15-20 days, a complex fertilizer is added to the water for irrigation at the rate of 10 g per bucket.
Prefers partial shade. In cool climates (the difference between day and night temperatures exceeds 12 °C), plants can also be kept in the open sun, provided that the soil is always sufficiently moistened.
Old shrubs are often destroyed by frost in cold winters without snow. In winter, for young open ground and potted specimens, it is recommended to mulch the soil or remove them for storage in a closed, unheated room. The maximum temperature that they can withstand should not exceed 30 °C. If the temperature rises above 22 °C, the ground should be kept moist at all times.
They are watered very often and regularly, especially in the summer.
When the roots are no longer placed in the same pot, astilba is transplanted in the spring to a slightly larger container filled with soil with the addition of sand (1/3) and pH 5.5-6.5. open ground Plants are recommended to be transplanted to a new place every 3-5 years.
Propagate by dividing the bushes into parts (always with at least one stem, buds at the base and a segment of the rhizome). The remaining pieces of rhizome can also be useful for reproduction. It should be borne in mind that the old rhizome quickly becomes lignified and divides with difficulty. They are planted on a permanent landing site in the open ground, pre-applied organic fertilizers. They also practice seed propagation.
Diseases and pests
Due to lack of water or excess sunlight, astilba often has burns on the leaves, which manifest themselves in yellowing. In this case, water more often and protect the plant from the sun. In a moist and warm environment, powdery mildew easily develops - the leaves are covered with a whitish mold. They get rid of it with the help of appropriate chemicals. The only insect pest seen on these plants is the Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica), which nibbles at the flowers and leaves. If there are few plants, these pests can be removed manually.
It is advisable to buy young plants at the end of winter. Choose well-formed specimens without yellowed leaves.