The astilbe, or false goat’s beard, is a highly popular perennial amongst American gardeners. Due to its versatility, this plant can be planted and successfully grown in a pot that is left on a patio or deck with an adequate amount of shade. Because these plants are relatively low maintenance, caring for them in a container is very simple even for beginners.
Planting Astilbe in Pots
If you’re considering growing your new astilbe in a pot, it is crucial that you get one that can accommodate its growth. You should select a container that has a minimum of 16 inches in width and about 12 inches in overall depth. Make sure to get one with drainage holes. A container of this size will hold just one astilbe – do not try to squeeze in two. Furthermore, even though any material will suffice, terra cotta or wooden planters are preferred simply because they allow for better overall circulation. Make sure to place your container in an area in which your perennial can benefit from partial shade.
The best time of year to plant your perennial is either during spring or autumn. Planting in the summer should be avoided because your astilbe will be much more likely to dry out.
Best Soil For Astilbe in Pots
For astilbe, you can select a commercial potting mix of high quality or make your own. To do so, you can mix organic material like peat, compost, bark chips, and perlite.
Caring For Astilbe in Planters
Taking care of your astilbe in a container is quite simple. The most important things to remember are to ensure that your plant is not overexposed to the sun, is receiving the right amount of water, and that the water is draining properly.
Watering Astilbe in Pots
After planting your perennial, it is crucial to water it thoroughly and keep its soil moist until it is established. After it’s established, you must water it twice per week to ensure it does not dry out. However, if you notice the soil is dry, especially the top inch of the surface, you must water it even if you’ve already watered it twice that week. Do not let the soil dry out. During the hotter times of the year, and during periods in which rain is lacking, keep an eye on the soil and water as needed.
When watering, be sure to do so slowly. This will help the water pass through the drainage holes more easily.
Fertilizing Astilbe in Pots
To help your astilbe thrive in its pot, you can use fertilizer on it two times per month. The ideal option will be one that is water soluble. The best time to use fertilizer is before your perennial’s new growth during springtime. You can stop using it during the fall when your astilbe will become dormant.
Winter Care For Astilbe in Pots
Although caring for potted astilbe during the winter is possible, your plant will be at a higher risk of suffering from root damage due to cycles of freezing and thawing. Astilbe perennials do well in USDA hardiness zones of 3 and higher. If you live in a Zone 5 or higher, or 4 with a safe location, your plant should do fine outside. However, your best bet is to move it to a shed or unheated garage to keep it safe.
During winter, your plant won’t need to be watered nearly as much. Check every month to make sure the soil is moist. If not, water it.
Growing Astilbe Indoors
You can grow your plant indoors, but it’s important to note that your astilbe will need a minimum of 4 to 6 hours of daily sunlight. If you cannot find a position that can provide your plant with the exposure it needs, it’s best to try growing it outside instead.