Astilbe chinensis 'Purple Candles' ('Purpurkerze')
Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
| ||Common Name: Astilbe-Chinese|
- Dense, poker-like plumes emerge a rich violet-red, then lighten up as they age
- Blooms in midsummer
- Bold, dark green foliage with a coarse texture
- Has a unique look; makes a strong color statement in the garden
A member of Astilbe chinensis (Chinese Astilbe). A later blooming species useful for extending the bloom season into late summer. Foliage is deeply incised, coarsely textured, and often bronze-green in color. Flowers are borne on narrow, branched panicles. Though garden performance is far superior in moist soils, members of this species are moderately drought tolerant. Shorter varieties such as 'Pumila' make excellent groundcovers.
Origin: Not Native to North America
Sun or Shade?:
Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Full shade (< 4 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
Average water needs
Consistent water needs
Need critter resistant plants?:
How fast should it grow?:
When should it bloom?:
How's your soil?:
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
Acidic Soil (pH < 7.0)
Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
Astilbes are long-lived perennials that are most comfortable when grown in rich soil and light shade to filtered sun. They will grow in full shade, but will not bloom as prolifically there.
Though they are easy to grow, Astilbes have one critical requirement--lots of water. Plants must have consistently moist soil; dryness leads to a quick demise, especially in sun. Increase watering as the foliage emerges and the plumes mature. If the soil dries out, the leaves will develop brown, crispy margins and will begin to drop.
Fertilize Astilbes in late spring before flowering starts. Wait to cut back the old foliage until spring; it will help protect the plant from winter damage. In the spring, if the crown has risen above soil level, gently press it back into the ground and apply some organic matter around the plant. Plants should be divided in early spring every 3-4 years to maintain vigor.
The word "Astilbe" probably means "without showiness" in Greek, referring to the original flowers from China. Today's hybrids are definitely showy!