Astilbe japonica 'Montgomery'
Montgomery Astilbe flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 15 inches
Flower Height: 23 inches
Spacing: 18 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3a
Other Names: False Spirea, Japanese Astilbe
Striking red plumes, rising above glossy leaves; perfect in a shady spot with dappled light; prefers moisture so water regularly for abundant flowers and nice foliage
Montgomery Astilbe has masses of beautiful plumes of dark red flowers at the ends of the stems in mid summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its deeply cut ferny compound leaves emerge burgundy in spring, turning dark green in color throughout the season.
Montgomery 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.
Montgomery Astilbe is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Montgomery Astilbe will grow to be about 15 inches tall at maturity extending to 23 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 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.
Montgomery 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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