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