VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Plant Pick: Astilbe or False Spirea

Astilbe arendsii plant Astilbe arendsii plant

Latin name:  Astilbe Arendsii hybrids

by Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association

A popular plant for moist, shady areas, these hybrids form mounds of fern-like, foliage and display feathery plumes of tiny blooms in many shades. They offer a wide range of foliage color, size and bloom times from late spring to early fall.

Astilbe Arendsii hybrids have beautiful fern-like foliage and bear delicate, feathery plumes of tiny blooms in a large variety of shades. Varieties also offer a wide range of foliage color, size and bloom times from late spring to early fall. The flowers can be used as cut flowers or in dried arrangements. These plants prefer partial shade, but will tolerate full sun if provided plenty of water. Good areas to use Astilbe Arendsii hybrids would be in a mass or group planting in shade gardens, woodland gardens and shaded areas of border fronts. Excellent ground cover or edging plant for shady areas. Also effective on pond or stream banks. No serious disease problems, however powdery mildew & wilt may occur. Several insect problems can occur such as Japanese beetle, white fly and black vine weevil.

Photos courtesy Wanda Brenton.

Attribute Description
Form Oval - vertical
Foliage Deeply cut, fern-like
Height/Width 1.5 to 4.5 feet height, 1 to 2 feet width
Hardiness Zone 4 - 9 
Exposure Prefers shady, moist sites 
Flower Colour White, pink, red, lilac, rose
Leaf Colour Medium to dark green
Flower time Late spring to early fall
Preferred Soil and Watering Well drained, moist soil
Other Deer and rabbit resistant, non-aggressive, non-invasive, low maintenance plant. Divide clumps when overcrowded (every 3 to 4 years)