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Pot or not

Alan4711Alan4711 LincolnshirePosts: 1,657

Hi all, local car boot today,Kate spotted a plant called Astilbe,a nice looking 20 inch high and  well formed plant and a pinky colour, Question can i put it into a 12"wide by 18" deep terracotta pot or has it got go into the open soil,damp well drained partial shade is what it wants im told so im ok with that part but cant find any advice on to pot or not  image any advise would be good,



  • Cultiv8Cultiv8 Posts: 9

    Astilbe really like the conditions you describe, damp, partial shade . . . I have had a lovely specimen plant growing happily by my wildlife pond for many years.

    There's no reason why you couldn't try it in the terracotta pot but you would have to keep it really well watered, maybe line with a heavy duty plastic too as terracotta is porous and could draw the moisture away from the plant.

    My philosophy on gardening is . . . give it a go, if it doesn't work don't do it again ! image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,305

    My dear daughter in law tried Astilbe in a pot - it didn't work and went brown and crispy.  

    I'd try to get it right first time - it likes bog gardens image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782




    I had four in the garden, pink ones.  I removed one 2 years ago as they had grown so large and were cramped.  I put it in a cheap plastic terracotta look-alike pot 17" high and 15" radius at the top (but less at the bottom).

    I planted it in one half leafmould and one half multi-purpose compost with a couple of handfuls of grit and a couple of inches high of crocks in the bottom.

    When it started to come up in April, I planted in a bunch of shop bought tulips in leaf as I wanted to see what they would look like with the just growing foliage.  Here are two photos.  One with the tulips on 15th April this year and one taken this evening as it is still growing to it's full height and the tulip leaves have just about gone over and I'll remove them soon.  Worked for me.  I also move it around but keep it out of the worst wind - even though it doesn't seem to mind a deal of wind here in Scotland.  It's exposed to the winds where you see it in today's photo.  When the flowers come on (and they're bigger every year) I put it in a sheltered spot with a tiny bit of shade.

    Works for me.  When the top of the soil seems to dry out I pour on half a watering can of water, or a whole one if we've had consecutive hot days (which doesn't happen often here).  I don't feed it at all.  I just remove the top couple of inches of compost every year and add fresh.  Sometimes I know it needs a good drink if the wind has been harsh and the leaves get crispy and brown around some of the edges.  A good watering at that time has always refreshed it and I remove any leaves which I think are not fresh looking.  Also, because I accidentally ended up with a lot of pink in this garden, if the flowers come up hugely fluffy and pink - I often cut them off as I like the foliage so much.  I get 8 heads on this plant each year - which is too much pink for me.




  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,305

    Given the right conditions most varieties of astilbe will grow 2 - 3ft tall and the same across - unless I had no choice I'd not confine it in a pot where it can never achieve it's full potential.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,305

    Hear Hear Verdun!!! image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    There are many different sizes of Astilbe, dwarf size as well as the tall ones. I have 6 different ones in a shady area of my garden, they look good every year and they don't take over the garden.

  • Alan4711Alan4711 LincolnshirePosts: 1,657

    Right then into a half shady/sunny spot in the garden ,our soil is very well drained here so i,ll need to hold the damp in the soil now How do i do that ,I Know Dont buy Astibes but that dont help so Dove you probably have similar soil have you got any wet liking plants ,what do i put into its new home please to keep it damp, Please dont say water you lot i know that image actualy if i get this right we just might get another as they really are a bute of a plant and i read ok for splitting next year,,Many thanks so far really really good advise from everybody ,even up in bony Scotland good luck all and today the sun still trying to get out last night was just what the garden wanted

    Cheers all Alanimage 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,305

    Hi Alan image

    If digging holes in this garden didn't mean cutting out huge roots from our lovely ash trees, then I'd make a bog garden for astlbes and similar plants

    You've probably got more than enough to do at the moment, so I'd probably dig in as much FYM and compost as possible and set up a 'leaky hose' under the soil surface so that it's easy to connect up when needed to keep the soil damp. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 3,467

    Hi Alan,

    I recently acquired a new astilbe and didn't have room for it in my bog garden so I dug a decent size hole that I thought would give sufficient root space for years to come and lined it with some pond liner then chucked the topsoil back in and some water.

    Ive since only watered it after several hot days, it has a few flower heads appearing with no signs of withering as yet.

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