Astilbe - Full sun? part shade?

lynneinmdJune 1, 2007

I heard today that Astilbe needs to be in the shade but I have one in full sun that seems happy. Do I need to move the poor plant before it scorches or is it safe in the sun?? It is in a place that stays damp deep down, because of nearby rain runoff, so I don't think it will dry out.



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If it's happy, leave it alone. I've moved plants to their ideal conditions (OMG, I didn't know it's not supposed to like it here), only to have them promptly croak on me. Let your plant tell you what it likes.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 10:10PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

I told you that, too, Lynne.
We all have something in our gardens that is defying common "knowledge" of a plant. In your case, it might be the moisture.

Again, if it starts to burn or curl? Move it. If it hasn't in this horrible sun and heat? I think it's on steroids.

The thing that most likely won't change, is that astible need very rich soil, so a little horse poop each spring is a good idea,


    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 1:46PM
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So you did, Christine, but my brain was FULL by the time we finished!! =)

I won't move it unless it gets cranky.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 3:30PM
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"because of nearby rain runoff.."

Where in Maryland has there been rain in the last 48 days?! Your astilbe must be sitting on an underground stream.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 6:34PM
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Although we are accustomed to seeing astilbe as a shade plant, I remember reading that the shade is only needed due to lack of sufficient water. Astilbe does best, I have read, with good sunlight but wet conditions, so it seems like you have placed it perfectly.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 6:34PM
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Wouldn't it be possible to place the plant where it would get full sun on say Monday, Wednesday and Friday and part-shade on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. That should make the little darling happy. Steve in Baltimore County

Anytime you say, you want me back again, thats the time I'll come back home to you.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 9:23PM
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gardengrove_ac(z6 MD)

When I worked for a landscaping company we would plant Astilbe in full sun. Well established plants which can be watered regularly have no problem at all with full sun, but there is a MAJOR difference between full sun and baking sun. The amount of reflected, drying heat seems to be a very serious limiting factor. Places near paved services or graveled areas don't work too well in full sun.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 11:04PM
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Cynthia, it rained here the other day - but the reason I think it will be happy is because it is in a flower bed about a foot away from the edge of the low spot/ditch at the edge of the yard. The neighbor is higher up than we are, so the rain runs down his slope to the 'ditch', plus he has not one but two gutter spouts directed through the same area. Plus two from my house come out there as well. So it stays soggy long after higher areas are dusty again.

Steve, I could do the alternate shade thing but my husband and the neighbors already think I'm nuts for rototilling half the front lawn this spring!


Here is a link that might be useful: pics here.. they're from last month tho

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 11:05PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I used to try to grow astilbe in a shade border under trees. Then I tried some on the west side of the house where the soil is usually wet from downspout runoff. They love it, even though there is quite a bit of sun. And the soil isn't even very amended, pretty clayey, which actually holds the moisture in longer.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 2:46PM
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I have astible in nearly full sun around our pond and it looks ok but the astilbe we have in shade in moist soil does better.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 8:36PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Yes, if it's happy don't move it, right? :)

I have dry shade, where it does well as long as I water it.
I just moved a tiny, struggling 'Bridal Veil' from the dry shade to another dry shade, but under a 'Forest Pansy' redbud that's planted in a bunch of nice, compost mix. It skyrocketed into growth. I think the mat of maple roots had a lot to do with its retarded growth, but a 'Fanal' next to it was pretty frisky.

I'm glad to hear they can take sun, since that's what I have 99% of. The baking kind, unfortunately (thanks for that tip, Nate), but at least I run my soaker hoses constantly.

Lynne has a great place where her air conditioner drains into the garden, too. She can grow some gorgeous stuff in her very varied yard!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 8:50AM
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