Deutschland AstilbeAstilbe Arendsii Hybrid ‘Deutschland’
View more from Astilbe
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Astilbe Arendsii Hybrid ‘Deutschland’
Outdoor Growing zone
Partial Sun, Shade
When you see the lovely tall pyramids of white flowers over the ferny foliage of the Deutschland Astilbe, you will know right away why this plant is so popular. The impact it brings to shady parts of your garden can’t be overstated, and yet it is easy to grow, once you can provide sufficient moisture. Even when the blooms fade to buff-brown they are appealing, and can be left for months of interest well into fall. The open, ferny foliage is an effective ground cover, and plants are durable and long-lived, becoming better and better over time. Perfect for all partial and fully-shaded parts of the garden, except for dense and dark shade. Grows well beside water and looks wonderful mass-planted in any style of garden. Valuable in containers too, in warmer zones.
Grow the Deutschland Astilbe in full sun in cold zones, if you want, but usually it does best in partial or full shade under deciduous trees or in shadow zones. Avoid dry soil and water regularly as needed, because moist soil is the one essential for success. Richer soils and regular mulching will give superb results and big, healthy plants. Avoid planting directly in water. Once that is taken care of, there is little else to do, and pests, diseases, deer and rabbits are never problems. Cut off the spent flower stems whenever you feel like, and trim back the dying foliage in fall – that’s it. Few plants could be easier, as long as moisture is available.
No color is as effective in shade as white – dark colors might look good close-up, and in sunny spots, but in darker places they fade into the shadows from a few yards away. That’s why it is so important to use plenty of lighter colors in your shade gardens, and nothing does that better than the Deutschland Astilbe. Carrying an abundance of elegant white pyramids of bloom through early summer, and with handsome light-green foliage the rest of the time, it can be the mainstay of your shady beds – in fact, it could successfully be all you grow. Since it is also vigorous and easy, you can turn those gloomy, featureless areas into beautiful gardens so easily with a plant like this. Yes, Astilbe do need moisture, but if you can provide it, and a bit of extra care in the first seasons, then you are set for years and years of easy gardening in the most difficult of locations – the dreaded shade that defeats so many gardeners – don’t be one of them.
The Deutschland Astilbe is a handsome perennial plant that disappears over winter and returns fresh and vigorous again in spring. Unlike some other perennials that need dividing and replanting after a few years, plants only get better – and broader – with time, and can be left untouched for many years. In spring light-green, glossy leaves sprout up in a dense clump. These are large, but because they are divided into many small leaflets, each oval, with a jagged edge, the effect is ferny, light, and very attractive. The lighter color of the leaves gives way in summer to a deeper green, which lasts well into fall, before yellowing and dropping to the ground. The foliage clump stands around 18 inches tall on mature plants.
By the first weeks of July the plant is in bloom, with 3-foot stems rising up above the foliage, swaying gently in the breezes. The stems are sturdy, need no support, and never break in high winds or storms. The upper half of the stem carries many almost horizontal side- branches, forming a broad, pyramidal head. These droop slightly, giving a graceful and charming air to the plant. Each stem is covered with hundreds of tiny, pure-white flowers, making this one of the most attractive of all the white-blooming astilbe. The color lasts well, gradually fading to a soft beige, which lasts right into fall, keeping this plant attractive and interesting for many weeks. You can even leave the flowers stems over winter – many gardeners do, giving interest in that dull season.
You might think that Astilbe were designed to complement Hosta – broad leaves against ferny ones – and together they provide the solution for almost all your shade areas. Grow the Deutschland Astilbe behind smaller Hosta, or in front of big ones. Grow it with ferns and other shade plants; plant it beside a pond or stream; use it to line a shady path, or grow it with shade-loving shrubs like azalea and rhododendrons.
The Deutschland Astilbe grows well in zone 4 and all through warm zones into zone 8, as well as in zone 9 in the northwest. It does need some winter cold to develop properly, so it won’t succeed in areas with very warm winters.
Plant the Deutschland Astilbe in partial shade for the best growth. This could be a spot with some morning sun and shade after that, or in light, dappled shade beneath deciduous trees or at the foot of a north-facing wall or fence. In colder zones it will take more shade, and will certainly grow in full shade, if it isn’t dense with low, overhanging evergreens.
The ideal soil is rich and moist, but not standing in water. Both acid and slightly alkaline soils are good, and most soil types. Avoid dry places, as regular moisture is essential. Don’t plant directly in water. Add plenty of organic materials when planting, use them as mulch, and water new plants frequently for the first season or two. After that there is some resistance to dryness, but these plants are not drought-resistant. For drier spots, check out the Chinese astilbe varieties, like the ‘Vision’ series, or ‘Purple Candles’, which will grow in more sun and with less moisture.
A big part of the popularity of astilbe is how easy they are to grow, and how resistant to pests, diseases and even deer and rabbits they are. They only need an annual cutting back, in late fall or early spring, and even that can be limited to flower stems, as the leaves form a natural mulch. Remove the flower stems whenever you judge them to be unsightly – but no later than early spring. Apart from mulching and watering, that is it for growing the Deutschland Astilbe.
When the Japanese astilbe, Astilbe japonica, first arrived in Europe and America in the 19th century it wasn’t taken much notice of, and it took the work of European breeders to turn it into the valuable garden plant it is today. They created hybrids, using mainly David’s astilbe, Astilbe davidii, which grows in China and has pink flowers. By 1900 the most famous, Georg Arends, a German nurseryman, was developing more vigorous, compact and colorful plants, and during his life he introduced hundreds of varieties, many of which are still grown today. His plants, and similar ones, are usually called Astilbe Arendsii Hybrids, or ‘Astilbe x arendsii’. In 1920 he released a plant he named ‘Deutschland’, once known as ‘Frulicht’.
Over 100 years old, and still going strong, the Deutschland Astilbe remains the most popular and widely-grown white astilbe, so you can see how good it is. Compare that to the way so many new varieties arrive with a fanfare and then disappear within a few years. Buy a quality, reliable plant that has stood the test of time, but order now – popular plants never stay with us for long.