Color for shade! When the spring flowers have passed, but the summer bloomers aren’t doing much yet, you may wish your shade garden had some more color. Fanal Astilbe will satisfy your craving. Fanal celebrates those sweet days between spring and summer with brilliant, blazing, rapturous, red-pink flowers. The feathery red or near-red plumes stand proudly above ferny, bronze-green foliage that’s handsome in its own right. Plant this ravishing redhead in your entryway garden, near your patio, or in any of the shady borders around your home that could use some zing. It’s dynamite!
If you speak German, you know that “Fanal” means “Beacon” or “Torch.” Although Astilbes originated in China, Japan, and Korea, Fanal Astilbe’s story is centered in Germany. That’s where the great plant breeder, Geroge Arends, lived. Arends founded his nursery in 1888. A devoted plantsman, he traded seeds and cuttings with friends around the world and hybridized his own plants, always seeking improvements or something new. He had a special fondness for Astilbes. In his lifetime, he introduced 74 new Astilbes to the world (including this one) and 350 plants in all. Bombings during both World Wars destroyed much of his nursery, but each time he picked up the pieces and went back to work.
Bring a bit of the garden indoors! Fanal Astilbe, with its lightly fragrant, pyramidal plumes in summer, makes a lovely cut flower. Fresh-cut flowers on the table lend a welcoming touch and make a house feel like a home.
How to Grow
Fanal Astilbe is best in afternoon shade. It will also grow in deep shade. Astilbes need regular irrigation to maintain bright, healthy foliage. Some people like the look of the spent seedheads and leave them standing; others cut them down as soon as the flowers have finished. Shear back all old stems and leaves in early spring. Mulch and fertilize annually—Astilbes are heavy feeders. Digging and dividing plants every three years will keep them growing vigorously (and will give you more plants!).
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