Perennials forum: Astilbe care

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Aug 20, 2015 9:01 AM CST
I love astilbe when it is in bloom. Not so much when it is past prime. I've deadheaded all the bloom stalks, and keep it well watered, but it is now looking really crispy and ratty. How do you manage your astilbes when they become an eyesore? Plant something in front of them? Cut them to the ground? Looking for inspiration in the hot August garden.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Aug 20, 2015 9:07 AM CST
When they get brown, from hot weather, I try to keep up with cutting back the ugly ones. When the foliage also goes brown, I cut to the ground and hope for better weather next year. They are not in areas where I can plant anything in front of them so I just add more mulch.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Aug 20, 2015 9:46 AM CST
Astilbe did not like our hot conditons too, so in my area, it is just good for late winter to early spring. I have it before in containers, thinking I can reposition it to help get more shade. After it really goes brown and ratty, I just let it dry off and cut off. Eventually, I gave up on it. Too bad, nice looking plant when conditions are cool and part sunny.

So far in my very hot and part shade garden, Caladiums are doing very well, just got to water often.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Aug 20, 2015 9:49 AM CST
At least if caladiums burn in the sun, we can remove a leaf or ten leaves and it will grow new ones. It's not true with astilbe. Though I love astilbe, they can get hit so hard by sun.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 20, 2015 11:35 AM CST
The only Astilbe that gets really brown for me is one of the Flash series. It's in way too much afternoon sun right along a path. It really should be moved to a better spot. I think the key might be to give them really deep, loose soil, plenty of mulch (I use leaves) and planted as a group - all of the leaves shade the ground, maybe keeping the roots cooler.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Aug 20, 2015 1:34 PM CST
Cool roots are essential. Ours are planted with lots of our own compost and I mulch heavily. Still, the constant high heat and hot sun can, and does, mean a quick end of blooms here. These Bridal Veil astilbes are in one of the several Japanese iris gardens and the roots are very well shaded but still they turn a dark ecru when the sun is too hot for a long period of time.
Thumb of 2015-08-20/pirl/d7e824

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 20, 2015 2:08 PM CST
That's a great combo! The sun doesn't usually get too hot yet while the Astilbe are blooming. I do deadhead though as I'm not so fond of "ecru" flower heads. Smiling I do think the Flash series are a little more sensitive, maybe because they have smaller leaves? I have other groups of Astilbes planted in the middle of garden beds with other perennials growing in front of them - smaller hostas, "hak" grass, etc so that might be a way to camouflage any browning foliage.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Aug 20, 2015 2:53 PM CST
As the JI's finish blooming the white astilbe get ugly so it was perfect timing. Once some Rheinland got brown too fast in early June so I resorted to spray painting the heads. It really looked so nice!
Thumb of 2015-08-20/pirl/d372d4 Thumb of 2015-08-20/pirl/2ba456

I'm sure I don't have any of the Flash series.

The Hak. grass grows so fast (too fast) and does give great shade to roots.

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 20, 2015 3:38 PM CST
I remember your pics of painted Astilbe and still get a smile.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Aug 20, 2015 6:34 PM CST
I just might do it again with the Neon paint so they'll glow in the dark.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 21, 2015 8:08 AM CST
That would be so fun!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Aug 21, 2015 9:27 AM CST
Astilbe is growing smack up against the north side of the house.
The leaves seem to be okay there, and it does throw flower stocks there.
I have thought of scattering For-get-me-not seeds around them, but have not done so.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 21, 2015 12:10 PM CST
I have tried FMN in maybe too much shade and they get lanky and floppy. I think they need some morning sun at least. Could be my silt on top of clay dirt too.I have perennial FMN but the species is very thuggish - sows everywhere and hard to dig out although my variegated one is pretty well behaved.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Aug 21, 2015 12:53 PM CST
What is FMN?
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 21, 2015 2:23 PM CST
FMN is me being too lazy to type out forget-me-nots. :)
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Aug 21, 2015 4:06 PM CST
Thanks. I did scroll up a bit looking for a reference but rolled right past it.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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