Peach Blossom Astilbe
Got shade? Peach Blossom Astilbe will make your shade garden shine. This sensational Spirit brightens up dark spaces with graceful spikes of soft rose-pink flowers, the color of a Georgia Peach orchard in spring. The blooms come at a welcome time—when actual Peach blossoms, bulbs, and other spring flowers have finished blooming, but summertime flowers have not yet begun. Plant a clump by a shady entryway or near your patio. You’ll want your Peach Blossom Astilbes close at hand, so you can easily clip a few stems for a bouquet for the house. The lightly fragrant plumes add a charming touch to the table.
Although Astilbes originated in China, Japan, and Korea, Peach Blossom 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 in 1903) 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.
Peach Blossom Astilbe is often described as having peach-colored flowers, but that’s not really accurate. It has Peach blossom–colored flowers, which are a clear, soft rose-pink. Plant it with blue-leaved hostas for a pleasing mix of textures and colors.
How to Grow
Peach Blossom 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 deep them growing vigorously (and will give you more plants!).
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