Purple Rain Astilbe
Astilbe chinensis 'Purple Rain'
Purple Rain Astilbe flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 20 inches
Spacing: 18 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3a
Other Names: False Spirea
This variety produces showy dark magenta plumes with a purple-lavender cast, rising above deep green leaves; dense, upright form; perfect in a shady spot with dappled light; prefers moisture so water regularly for abundant flowers and nice foliage
Purple Rain Astilbe has masses of beautiful plumes of fuchsia flowers with purple overtones and lavender streaks at the ends of the stems from mid to late summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its ferny compound leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season.
Purple Rain Astilbe is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Purple Rain Astilbe is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Purple Rain Astilbe will grow to be about 20 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!
This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Purple Rain Astilbe is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
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