Flowers

Astilbe

The Astilbe is a plant that produces a lot of flowers, in inflorescences of an interesting size, they make it a genus very cultivated, both in pots and planters and directly in the garden.

It does not need complicated maintenance; in fact, it is considered to be suitable for beginners because with minimal attention it will be healthy, as well as precious.

Origin and characteristics

The Astilbe genus is made up of a dozen species native to East and South Asia. These are perennial or perennial herbaceous plants that grow to a maximum height of one meter, and that produce leaves made up of opposite leaves, with slightly serrated margins, of green color. They bloom in summer, which is when their inflorescences sprout in the form of feathers that can be pink, red, white or yellow.

Main species

The most recommended are:

  • Astilbe chinensis: Native to Japan and China, it reaches a height of 40 to 50cm and produces pink, purple or white flowers.
  • Astilbe japonica: known as Japanese astilbe, it is native to Japan that reaches a height of about 50cm. It produces red, pink or white flowers.
  • Astilbe rubra: Native to China, Japan and Korea, it reaches a height of 70 centimeters and produces magenta colored flowers.
  • Astilbe thunbergii – is native to Japan and China, reaches a height of up to 1 meter, and produces pink or reddish flowers.

What are their cares?

Would you like to know how to take care of it? So here are a few tips :

Location

The Astilbe is a plant that has to be in a bright area but without direct sun. It adapts very well to places with partial shade.

Of course, it must be placed outside, because inside the home its flowering would be scarce or even non-existent.

Earth

It depends on where it is going to be grown :

  • Flowerpot: it is important that the substrate to be used is capable of retaining moisture for a while but also has good drainage. The Astilbe does not withstand drought, but neither does it like to have “wet feet” permanently. So a good mix would be, for example, a universal growing medium (like this one they sell here ) with 30% perlite.
  • Garden: with garden soil, the same must be taken into account as with that of pots. Drainage is essential so that the roots do not have problems. But if your soil is very compact, do not worry: make a planting hole of about 30cm x 30cm (better if they are 50 × 50), cover it with shading mesh (on sale here ) and then fill it with the substrate mentioned before.

Irrigation

Irrigation is another topic to talk about, and a quite serious one indeed; not in vain, water is essential for life. But beware: not by adding more will it be more alive ; in fact, what often happens when overwatered is that the roots suffocate and die. Bearing this in mind, to avoid problems you have to put a substrate or a soil with good drainage, but you also have to know when to water.

Three times per week? A? Well, I’m very sorry to tell you this but the answer is… it depends. It depends a lot on the climate and the location of the plant. In general, it is watered much more in summer than in winter, because the temperatures are higher and the land dries more quickly. But this is not always the case.

If you live in an area where it rains regularly, you won’t have to spend as much time on this task. For this reason, it is best to always check the humidity of the soil, either by inserting a thin wooden stick (if it comes out practically clean when you extract it, you will have to take the watering can and fill it with water).

Use rainwater or lime-free water whenever you can. In the event that you cannot get it, fill a basin with the tap, and let it sit for a minimum of night so that the heavy metals “sink”, stay down completely. Then you will only have to take the water from the upper half of the container, without making too sudden movements.

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In spring and summer it is highly advisable to fertilize your Astilbe with fertilizers such as guano in its liquid form if it is potted or planted, or with others such as compost, worm castings, or herbivorous animal manure.

Multiplication

It multiplies by seeds in summer or by division of the bush in spring or autumn. Let’s see how to proceed in each case:

Seeds

  1. First, you have to put them in a glass of water for 24 hours.
  2. The next day, discard any that have been floating since most likely they will not germinate.
  3. Next, fill a seedling tray (get it here ) with universal growing medium mixed with 30% perlite.
  4. Next, plant a maximum of two seeds in each socket, and cover them with a thin layer of substrate.
  5. Finally, water conscientiously.

Placing the tray outside, in semi-shade, and keeping the substrate always moist but not flooded, the seeds will germinate in a month.

Mata Division

To divide the bush you have to:

  • If it is potted:
    1. Extract it from her.
    2. Using a serrated knife or handsaw previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol, fearlessly cut in half (vertically, from the surface of the earth down).
    3. Plant the chunk in another pot or in the ground.
    4. Water (both).
  • If you are on land:
    1. Make 2-3 trenches around the plant about 40cm deep.
    2. Cut with a serrated knife and saw in half.
    3. With a hoe, separate the piece you want, making sure it comes out with the root.
    4. Plant it somewhere else.
    5. Water.

Rusticity

The Astilbe resists frosts down to -12ºC, although it prefers warm climates, without low temperatures, because under these conditions it usually loses the aerial part (leaves). It also withstands heat of up to 40ºC if the substrate or soil is humid.

What is the meaning of the Astilbe flower?

To finish, we are going to finish with a curious and beautiful topic at the same time. Humans have a tendency to believe in many things, to put meanings on them, to associate them with experiences, and so on.

The Astilbe flower has had something really positive: it is the representation of hope. Perhaps that is why it is used so much in bouquets for brides… or for homes.

Where to buy?

You can buy Astilbe in nurseries, but also here:



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