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Shade becomes a blessing when you discover Visions Chinese Astilbe! This stunning Spirit lights up dark spaces with its sparkling purple-pink blooms. The tiny flowers, massed together in perky, upright plumes, have a special way of radiating what little light comes their way. When not in flower, the plants remain handsome, clothed in deep bronze-green foliage that stays clean and dapper all season long. Use Visions as a colorful component in a north-facing foundation bed, a narrow side yard, or in any of the moist, shady borders around your home. Interplant with hostas for a classic combination of color and texture.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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Chinese Astilbe is a wide-ranging Spirit found not only in parts of China, but also in Siberia, Japan, and Korea. It illuminates shady spaces near woodland streams and pops up in cool, moist meadows. Its thick, woody roots bind the soil and keep it from eroding, while its slightly fragrant flowers attract pollinators of all types. This versatile species is at home in both naturalistic gardens and more formal ones. Visions is an especially fine selection of Chinese Astilbe that emerged from a Dutch nursery many years ago. It remains a shade garden favorite around the world.
Bring a bit of the garden indoors! Visions 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
Visions Chinese Astilbe is best in afternoon shade. It will also grow in deep shade, and in cool-summer climates, it can be grown in sun, as long as plenty of water is supplied. Chinese Astilbe is less demanding of moisture than other species, but all 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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