How to Care for Astilbe Plants


Astilbe, also called false spirea, is a perennial plant native to both North America and Asia. The delicate-looking foliage of the astilbe plant resembles a fern, and the flowers are smoke-like in appearance. The blooms are produced in summer and are available in a variety of shades, including white, pink and red. Astilbe grows from 18 inches to 5 feet in height, depending upon the variety chosen. This plant does not require a lot of attention and is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8.

Step 1

Dig a hole that is the same depth and twice as wide as the original container. Add a 3-inch layer of organic compost to the planting hole, then place the root ball inside at the same level as it was previously growing. Replace the soil and tamp down well.

Step 2

Water until the soil feels very moist but not soggy. Check the soil often, and add water whenever it no longer sticks to your finger. This is very important during the first growing season, before the roots have become established.

Step 3

Feed with a 5-10-5 fertilizer once in spring and once during summer. Mix according to package instructions, and take care not to pour the fertilizer directly onto the foliage to avoid burning the plant.

Step 4

Add a 4-inch layer of organic mulch in fall, before the first frost, to protect the roots from harsh winter weather. Remove the mulch in early spring after all danger of frost for your area has passed.

Step 5

Remove the dead foliage from the previous growing season in early spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic compost
  • 5-10-5 fertilizer
  • Organic mulch


  • University of Maryland Extension: Astilbe Production and Consumer Care
  • Ohio State University: Astilbe
  • University of Vermont: Astilbe
Keywords: care for astilbe, astilbe plants, astilbe plant care, grow astilbe, plant astilbe, false spirea

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.