UACES Facebook Shade Plants

Shade Plants

June 2010

QuestionThis spring I planted a false spirea -- Astilbe japonica variety Red Sentinel. Can you tell me something about its care? Do I prune it or cut it back to the ground at some point, and if so, when?


AnswerAstilbe plants are often touted as shade perennials, but they do best in light shade. They prefer a rich garden soil with ample moisture with defused sunlight or morning sun and afternoon shade. Rarely will you see good blooms in heavy shade. Astilbes are deciduous and will die back to the soil line after a hard freeze. You can cut back the old foliage then, or leave the dried flower heads for winter interest and clean them up as new growth is beginning in the spring.


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