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Herbaceous Perennial

Astilbe japonica

false buck's beard

A clump-forming herbaceous perennial to 80cm high, with dark green leaves divided into about nine diamond shaped leaflets with toothed margins. Flowers earlier than many other species, producing branching, feathery plumes of white flowers up to 20cm long in early summer

Other common names
silver sheaf
spiraea
Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer White Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Saxifragaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Astilbe are rhizomatous herbaceous perennials with attractive, usually ternately divided leaves and erect plume-like panicles of tiny white, pink or purple flowers in summer. The old, brown flower-heads remain attractive in autumn

Name status

Correct

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist, humus rich or boggy soil in full sun, or in drier soils grow in partial shade. Will not thrive in soils that dry out in summer. Divide and replant every 3-4 years to maintain vigour and flower quality, discarding any old, woody rhizomes. May be damaged by late spring frosts

Propagation

Propagate by division in winter or early spring; replant immediately or pot up to plant out in spring when re-established

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Flowering stems may be cut back when flowers fade, or left standing for winter interest

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

May be susceptible to leaf spot and powdery mildews

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