Rheinland AstilbeAstilbe Arendsii Hybrid ‘Rheinland’
View more from Astilbe
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Astilbe Arendsii Hybrid ‘Rheinland’
Outdoor Growing zone
Partial Sun, Shade
When you want a richer color in your shady beds, the Rheinland Astilbe is sure to be just what you want. The warm, deep pink of the fluffy flower spikes looks fabulous mixed with whites, pale pinks and purples – just the color palette you have among these wonderful plants. There is no reason to have boring shady beds while we have astilbe to grow. Rising to about 3 feet tall in bloom it is perfect among shrubs or mixed with hosta and other shade plants. Grow it beside a pond or stream, and even enjoy it in a planter on a shady terrace. The ferny foliage is glossy and rich dark-green, looking perfect in spring before the flowers grow up. Even after blooming the warm caramel of the flower spikes keeps them attractive well into the winter months.
Plant the Rheinland Astilbe in areas with a little morning sun, or in any area of light full shade. Avoid deep shade in dark corners, and plant in rich soils that are generally moist. Water as needed, especially during summer or in dry springs. Mulch when dormant with rich organic material to feed and to conserve moisture. Trim the flower stems whenever you feel that are no longer attractive, or in early spring. Leaves generally drop and disappear, but can be cut in fall once they begin to yellow. Free of pests and diseases and untouched by deer or rabbits.
Gardeners are often afraid of the shady areas of their garden, and as a result they get little attention. Although it’s true that if you have heavy, dark and dry shade, such as beneath big evergreen trees, it can be a real problem. But if your shade is beneath deciduous trees and large, mostly deciduous shrubs, it’s a different story. There you can have the most beautiful part of your garden, filled with gorgeous Hosta, Ferns, azaleas and rhododendrons, and of course, Astilbe. These plants, which combine fern-like foliage with beautiful plume-like blooms in summer, are easy to grow if they have moist soil, and look fabulous set against the big leaves of Hosta. For a gorgeous medium-sized plant with lovely light-pink blooms, a long-standing favorite is the Rheinland Astilbe. Blended with darker colors like the shorter ‘Fanal’, or whites like Bridal Veil, your shade garden will soon be the best part of your garden, where you can cool off on a summer’s day, or just take in the tranquility and beauty of foliage, shadow and color.
The Rheinland Astilbe is a reliable and long-lived perennial plant, dying back each year to a woody underground base, and re-sprouting each spring. Unlike some other perennial plants, it doesn’t need complicated division every few years, and plants remain beautiful for many years if left undisturbed. In spring the foliage forms a dense mound of leaves, or rather, leaflets. The big leaves are divided into around 15 smaller leaflets, each about 2 inches long, with serrated edges and a glossy surface. They are a neutral mid-green color, fitting well everywhere, and the foliage has a fern-like appearance, but glossy and always healthy-looking, even in fall.
Flowers open in late June and into July. First slender stems rise up above the leaves, and these gradually develop side-stems, branching out at about 45 degrees, forming an upright pyramidal flower head. Every stem becomes covered with a profusion of very tiny flowers, in their thousands, creating a fluffy and plume-like look. The color is a delicious soft pink that is charming and luminous, bright but not loud. Flower stems stand about 2 feet above the ground, although on well-established plants in ideal growing conditions they can be almost 3 feet tall. Flowers last for several weeks, gradually turning soft beige-brown, but still looking attractive. The spikes remain upright through fall and much of the winter too, and many gardeners leave them for as long as possible, for their charm and interest.
Grow the Rheinland Astilbe in any fully or partially-shaded part of your garden. It thrives near ponds and streams, and in woodland gardens, but also looks great in formal beds too – alone or with Hosta and other shade-loving plants. Plant it in drifts, spacing the plants 18 inches apart, for a glorious sight in summer, and excellent groundcover abilities.
Like most Astilbe, this plant grows perfectly in cold regions like zone 4, but also through all warmer zones into zone 8. It does need some winter cold, so it will also grow in zone 9 in the northwest, but not so well in the southeast of the country.
Grow the Rheinland Astilbe in areas where it has some morning sun, but shade the rest of the day, or in the full shade under tall deciduous trees, to the north of large trees, or at the foot of a north-facing wall or fence. It will grow less well in heavy shade, such as beneath low-hanging evergreen trees, where you may need to grow other groundcover plants, such as some of the Geraniums, or Liriope. The perfect soil is rich, always moist, or even wet, but not planted directly in water. It grows in clay soils and both acidic and moderately alkaline soils, but not at all in dry, sandy soils. Use plenty of organic material when preparing the planting spot, and as mulch every year or two. Water new plants frequently for the first season, and preferably through the second one as well – some slight drought resistance will develop, and if established plants do lose their foliage early due to dryness, they normally re-sprout well the following spring.
Rabbits and deer ignore the Rheinland Astilbe, and it doesn’t have any significant pests or diseases – most plants that die do so because of lack of water. You can cut the flower stems off whenever you like, but no later than early spring. The foliage can be cut in fall once it turns yellow, or left to spring – it often forms a natural mulch and in informal areas can just be left. Nothing else is ever needed – a real gift for low-maintenance gardening.
The first astilbe to arrive in Europe and America was the Japanese astilbe, Astilbe japonica, a plant with creamy-white flowers that didn’t attract much interest. However later a Chinese species, Astilbe davidii, arrived and by 1900 the German nurseryman Georg Arends was breeding them together and producing many more colorful, compact and vigorous forms. We call all his plants ‘Arendsii Hybrids’. The variety called ‘Rheinland’ was introduced by Arends in the 1920s.
Popular for 100 years now, the Rheinland Astilbe is without doubt the most elegant and beautiful of all the pink varieties. Turn your boring and dull shady areas into elegant beds, with just this plant alone, or with other shade plants. But order now, because the demand for this variety is always high, and stock runs out fast.