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Astilbe, a member of the saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae), is a plant that originally came from Eastern Asia. In the early 20th century the first cultivars were introduced in colours other than white. Subsequently breeding programmes resulted in an assortment numbering hundreds of cultivars.

Currently Astilbe is available in colours ranging from white through pink to deep red. Foliage colours and shapes also vary by cultivar.
Modern growing techniques mean that it is now possible to market good quality Astilbe from early March until the end of September.

The Astilbe you buy in a pot will thrive indoors, on your balcony or patio or in the garden. It needs a well-lit spot (especially if you are using it as a houseplant). When flowering is over, you can cut off the dead flowers, remove the pot and plant the Astilbe out in a moist spot in the garden. Too much exposure to sun will shorten flowering and Astilbe will flower longer in dappled shade.

Astilbe is a perennial, i.e. it can stay in the ground during winter even at temperatures well below freezing, when the parts of the plant above ground will die off completely.
As long as you ensure the plant gets sufficient water during dry periods, it will give you years of pleasure. If, after several years, the plant has grown too big, it can be dug up and split to give you several plants.



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Hans van der Meer Astilbe