QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to part shade.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 4 to 9.
3. Planting Distance - 2 to 3 feet apart.
4. Mature Height/Spread - 2 to 3 feet tall with a similar spread within 2 years.
5. Bloom Time - Early summer.
6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole 12" wide and 6" deep. Place the bare root plant in the hole with the buds (or eyes) of the plants pointing up. Spread the roots out and pull the soil over the plant so the buds are only 1" below the soil surface. Firm the soil around the plant with your fingers. Water thoroughly.
GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT
These rugged mound shaped perennials have beautiful colorful spikes above lush deep green divided foliage in the summer. Not only do the blooms appear when the garden needs color, they are also excellent for cut-flower arrangements. Excellent for planting in a group along a border or for use as superb mass plantings. Try mixing them in the shade with Hostas, Ferns, and Lenten Roses. They'll really brighten up those cool shady nooks in the garden. They are tough and literally pest free. They love moist spots so don't let them dry out.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat. You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - Clip off dead or unsightly growth to maintain attractive form and shape. Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible. As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season.
Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.
Winterizing - Astilbes require little if any winter protection. They do best if exposed. In northern locations that experience freezing winter temperatures the plants will die back to the ground and go dormant for the winter. They will sprout from the roots in the spring and be even more spectacular with each passing year.
As soon as the weather warms up in the spring remove any mulch from in-ground plantings. At the same time be sure to clean-up the garden and to remove dead or damaged parts on any plants.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.