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Dwarf Chinese Astilbe

Category:

A low maintenance, shade loving variety; low foliage mounds of ferny, toothed foliage with tall stems rising above, presents lilac-pink, plume-like flowers; an excellent addition to rain gardens, cut-flower arrangements or used as groundcover

Characteristics

Species:
chinensis
Other Species Names:
False Spirea
Average Landscape Height:
8 inches (12 inches with the flowers)
Average Landscape Width:
24 inches
Genus:
Astilbe
Cultivar:
Pumila
Branching:
herbaceous
Plant Form:
mounded
Canopy:
closed
Growth Rate:
medium
Pruning:
spring cleanup
Spacing:
18 inches
Flower Color:
lilac
Flower Bicolor:
pink
Flower Period:
from mid to late summer
Summer Foliage Color:
lawn green
Maximum Light:
partial shade
Minimum Light:
shade
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Minimum Moisture:
moist
Pollution Tolerance:
medium

Ornamental Features

Dwarf Chinese Astilbe has masses of beautiful plumes of lilac purple flowers with pink overtones rising above the foliage from mid to late summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its serrated ferny compound leaves remain emerald green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Dwarf Chinese Astilbe is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

Planting & Growing

Dwarf Chinese Astilbe will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity extending to 12 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Dwarf Chinese Astilbe is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

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