Peach Blossom AstilbeAstilbe hybrid ‘Peach Blossom’
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Astilbe hybrid ‘Peach Blossom’
Outdoor Growing zone
Partial Sun, Shade
Turn those pesky and boring shady parts of your garden into a flowering paradise with Astilbe and Hosta – and choose the Peach Blossom Astilbe for gorgeous bright coloring that glows in the shade. While dark colors might seem attractive, brighter ones, like the beautiful peachy-pink of this astilbe, are much better for standing out at a distance and lightening the gloom. Easy to grow if you have adequate moisture, this compact plant rises just a foot or two in the air, and looks great running along a path, around a pond or fronting a shady bed. The glossy green foliage has a ferny grace and looks wonderful in spring even before the flowers come up in summer. After the flowers fade the spikes remain a handsome caramel for months, even into winter, so trim them only when you feel like it.
For all those places in your garden which are shady in the afternoon, or lightly shaded all day, the Peach Blossom Astilbe is the perfect choice. Grow it in any moist soil, both well-drained and wet, but not in standing water. Richer soils, and annual mulching make a big difference, but as long as you keep it moist, most soils will be fine. Very low maintenance and long-lived, free of pests and diseases and untouched by deer or rabbits. An annual cutting down when the foliage fades is all it takes for perfect results – nothing could be easier, just don’t forget the water.
Astilbe are the perfect plants for almost all those shady places in your garden (except for the dry ones. . .) but sometimes popular varieties are too tall for the spot, or you want lower plants to edge a bed. That’s when the Peach Blossom Astilbe is your ‘go-to’ choice. Rising no more than 2 feet tall, and often only 18 inches, the peachy-pink blooms come early, before July begins, getting the Astilbe season off to an early start, and then stepping aside as the taller and later varieties step up. It is hard to imagine gardening without Astilbe, especially as our gardens mature and once small sapling trees start to throw shade over larger and larger areas. Rather than take down trees, turn your garden into a beautiful, cool, shade garden, filled with Astilbe, Hosta, Heuchera, Ferns, Liriope, azaleas, rhododendrons and other shade plants. Whatever you plant, though, don’t forget to include the Peach Blossom Astilbe.
The Peach Blossom Astilbe is a tough and reliable perennial plant that dies to the ground each fall, leaving a woody underground root, and then resprouts, stronger and more vigorous, each spring. It is long-lived and doesn’t need any of that dividing or work for many years. It produces a low cover of ferny leaves rising no more than a foot into the air, and usually a little less. The leaves are divided into many small leaflets, each an inch or so long, with jagged edges. Both stems and leaves are mid-green throughout the season, until they yellow in fall and drop to the ground naturally. It forms a good, dense mound, and flowers profusely.
The flowers rise no more than 2 feet into the air, often shorter, and they are produced in abundance, even on young plants. The stems are thin but strong, and stand up through winds and storms. Flowers open early, before July begins, and this is one of the earliest blooming astilbe widely available. The many tiny flowers are pink with peach overtones, and carried on short side stems in the upper 6 to 9 inches of the stem, forming a pyramidal panicle. As the blooms fade they become shades of soft brown, but the stems continue to stand, and many gardeners like to leave them through the summer and even through winter – the choice is yours.
With its lower height the Peach Blossom Astilbe is perfect for growing in small beds or as an edging along a shady bed or lining a path. Grow it beside water, in a shady rock garden or beneath trees. It’s the perfect way to bring color and interest to smaller spaces, or in combination with taller plants.
Perfectly hardy in zone 4, the Peach Blossom Astilbe will grow in almost all parts of the country except for hot and dry areas, such as the southwest. It will grow in zone 9 in the northeast, but may not grow so well in other zone 9 areas, where winters may be too warm for it.
Grow the Peach Blossom Astilbe in partial shade with some morning sun, or in light full shade, such as the broken shade beneath deciduous shrubs and trees. It also grows in shadow zones from large trees and at the foot of a north-facing wall or fence. It doesn’t grow so well in the deep shade directly beneath low-growing evergreen trees, although pines are usually not a problem, as they throw lighter shade. Grow it in any moist to wet soil, and avoid hot, dry places. Richer soils are best, so add plenty of organic materials when planting, and as mulch every year or two. Water new plants frequently for the first season or two – after that it will survive a little dryness in summer, but it isn’t drought resistant.
One of the great things about astilbe in general is that they are almost never bothered by pests, diseases, deer or rabbits. Dryness is their only enemy. This makes them very low-maintenance and reliable garden plants. You can cut down the leaves in fall, or leave them to drop naturally. Remove old flower stems at any time, but by early spring at the latest. Apply some mulch around plants every couple of years, and yearly on sandy soils. That’s it – simple, huh?
The most important breeder of our garden astilbe was Georg Arends, a German nurseryman around the beginning of the 20th century. But he wasn’t the only one. The variety called ‘Peach Blossom’ was developed and released in 1904 by a Dutch bulb nursery called van Waveren and Kruyff (who used to ship to the USA in those days). However it was possibly a seedling they bought from Georg Arends. It is a cross between the Japanese astilbe, Astilbe japonica, and a Chinese species called Astilbe chinensis. These hybrids were once called ‘Astilbe rosea’.
Perhaps the best of the low-growing Astilbe, the Peach Blossom Astilbe is a great plant for starting the astilbe season in your garden. Growing a range of colors and sizes is the way to get the most out of astilbe, so make sure your garden has this one. But order now, because stocks are low and supply is limited – they will be gone soon.