Content Detail

Astilbe hybrids are clump-forming perennials that form mounds of dark green, ferny foliage. They bloom red, pink, white, or lavender in upright or slightly arching plumes. Astilbes are valuable in moist shade for long-lasting color. They perform best in evenly moist soil.

  • Family (English) Saxifrage
  • Family (botanic) Saxifragaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches), Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Wet sites
  • Season of interest early summer, midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, Purple, Red, White
  • Shape or form Mounded, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate


This perennial is 18 to 36 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Astilbe is native to Southeast Asia where it prefers evenly moist, shady areas.

Attracts birds or pollinators:

Butterflies are attracted to this plant.

Leaf description: 

The deep green, pinnately compound leaves are divided into small-toothed, oval leaflets. They are often copper-colored when young.

Flower description:

The flowers appear in plumes of pink, red, white, or lavender. The flower stems are often upright or slightly arching.

Fruit description:

The fruit is a tiny seed capsule on the flower stems. Spent flowers can be ornamental in fall and winter.

Plant care:

Keep the soil moist in spring and summer for best growth. Heavy feeders, astilbe prefer spring fertilization. Divide or plant them in early spring, or by mid-September. They should be divided every three to four years, or when they become crowded. They should be cut back in spring.

List of pests and diseases: 

This plant has no serious problems. Lack of moisture in spring and mid-summer can cause poor flowering or leaf die-back. Astilbe is rabbit and deer resistant and can tolerate black walnut toxicity.

COLOR FLASH® Astilbe  (Astilbe × arendsii ‘Beauty of Ernst’):

More petite than the others, this cultivar is 10 to 12 inches tall by 15 to 18 inches wide. The mature leaves are various shades of purple, green, and burgundy, and turn gold, rust, and orange in the fall. Pale pink flowers arrive in mid to late summer.

Chocolate Shogun Astilbe (Astilbe ‘Chocolate Shogun’): 

This cultivar is 18 to 24 inches tall with deep chocolate-colored leaves, which maintain their dark color through the summer. It has bright pink flowers.

Delft Lace Astilbe (Astilbe ‘Delft Lace’): 

The 2 to 3 feet tall red stems carry soft pink to apricot flowers. The leaves form large clumps with a silvery tint.

 Deutschland Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii ‘Deutschland’):

A graceful astilbe with bright white flowers which can brighten a shade garden. In flower, the plant is 18 to 24 inches tall by 12 to 18 inches wide with bright green foliage.

 Fanal Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’): 

A moderate grower, Fanal Astilbe reaches 12 to 18 inches tall by 12 inches wide. Deep raspberry red flowers on bronzy foliage appear in June and July.

Rheinland Astilbe (Astilbe ‘Rheinland’): 

The lacy, clear pink blooms grow to 2 feet tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. The green foliage forms green mounds.


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