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How to Plant Astilbe Bulbs

By Kimberly Sharpe ; Updated September 21, 2017

Astilbe grows well in shady locations where other plants often fail to thrive. The plant's height ranges from 1 to 5 feet, depending on the variety. Flowers appear in the summer in large, feathery plumes that are red, white, pink, bronze or yellow. The plant produces an upright, clump that spreads up to 2 feet in width. Astilbe grows from fibrous roots that are often referred to as "bulbs." Plant the fibrous root bulbs in the fall or early spring.

Choose a planting location that offers full shade or partial shade. Astilbes easily burn if placed in full sunlight during the height of summer. Well-draining soil is required because the plants root system will not tolerate standing water.

Work aged manure and peat moss into the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. The soil should feel crumbly to the touch.

Dig a small hole that is 3 inches deep by 8 inches wide. Lay the fibrous bulb into the soil. Gently fan the roots outward with the eyes pointing upwards. Gently place 1 to 2 inches of soil over the bulbs' surface.

Apply 1 to 2 inches of mulch, such as peat moss or bark chips, over the planted bulbs' surface. Water the area thoroughly. The soil should feel moist but should not be waterlogged.


Things You Will Need

  • Hand trowel
  • Peat moss
  • Aged manure
  • Mulch (peat moss or bark chips)


  • Top growth begins from the bulbs approximately 2 weeks after planting.

About the Author


Based in Oregon, Kimberly Sharpe has been a writer since 2006. She writes for numerous online publications. Her writing has a strong focus on home improvement, gardening, parenting, pets and travel. She has traveled extensively to such places as India and Sri Lanka to widen and enhance her writing and knowledge base.