Astilbe Planting & Growing Guide

Despite their soft, delicate appearance, Astilbe is a tough perennial capable of thriving in shady conditions. Beyond looking absolutely beautiful, their fluffy, feathery plumes attract butterflies while deterring deer and other hungry critters. These dependable performers are more than worthy of a home in your garden. Allow us to show you how to grow and care for Astilbes for a breathtaking display!

  • Planting Depth
  • Planting Proximity
    Species dependent; 12-24"
  • Planting Season
  • Plant Benefits
    Does well and provides bright color in shade. Attracts pollinators.
  • Water Quantity
  • Bloom Season
  • Sunlight Quantity
    Partial Shade to Full Shade
  • Hardiness Zones
    Zones 3-9

Where to Plant

Astilbes thrive in moist, well-drained soils that offer average to slightly below average moisture. If you have a shady area that could use a bit of color and texture, Astilbes are a fantastic choice! These beauties will burn in full sun and prefer areas with light to moderate shade, where many other flowers typically won't survive.

When to Plant

Plant your Astilbe plants in the spring or fall, depending on your unique climate. It's best to avoid summer planting as Astilbes will not tolerate drying out. You can expect blooms from these versatile charmers to arrive in early summer through fall.

How to Plant

  • Find a location where the soil drains well, and your Astilbe will receive light to moderate shade, as it will burn in full sun. If water puddles remain 5–6 hours after a hard rain in your chosen planting spot, scout out another site or amend the soil with generous amounts of peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand to improve the drainage.
  • Tuck your Astilbe root crowns into the soil 12–24” apart with the roots fanned slightly and pointing downwards and the eyes or growing points no more than an inch below soil level.
  • Water well after planting to gently soak the soil and settle it around the roots.

How to Grow

  • Water periodically during active growth periods if rain does not occur. Keep in mind that weekly deep waterings are better than lighter drinks every day or two.
  • Apply a layer of mulch to your newly planted roots to help manage freezing and thawing soil.
  • Clip off spent flower stems after blooming has finished for the season. Your Astilbes will continue to provide attractive foliage for the remainder of the growing season.
  • Trim off leaves that begin to turn yellow or wilt as cooler fall temperatures arrive with the knowledge that next spring will bring fresh growth.

Astilbe Tips & Tricks

  • Provide average to slightly below-average moisture, as Astilbes prefer to never be water-logged.
  • Don't worry about introducing any soil-borne diseases into your garden, as Easy to Grow ships their Astilbes bare root, which means they're easy to handle and settle in quickly.
  • Tuck your Astilbes into beds and borders rather than containers, as these beauties perform better when planted in the ground.
  • Expect root growth to begin almost immediately after planting. In warm climates, top sprouts will form within a few weeks; in cool climates sprouts will emerge in the spring.
  • Plant your roots in the fall 8 weeks before hard frosts typically occur in areas with winter temperatures that drop below freezing. Doing so gives time for fall-planted perennials to secure their roots and reduces the risk of frost heave.
  • Snip a few blossoms to bring inside for cut arrangements while in bloom. It will not hurt your established plants and will provide beautiful lacey stems to mix with other flowers for bouquets.
  • Astilbe root crowns will multiply each year and should be dug up and divided every 3–4 years in the fall or early spring.