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How best to plant my Astilbes in sandy soil

Poppy GirlPoppy Girl Posts: 36

I brought 3 Astilbes today, the info tag on one states sun or part shade, the other 2 show full sun.  None of the tags said there was a problem with sandy soil.  However, when I checked my Flower Expert book it states that if you have sandy soil forget it!  My soil is sandy but we have added to it over the years and I don't have problems growing most plants.  Can anyone please tell me how best to plant these to give them a chance of growing in our soil.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,665

    Astilbes like damp. Sandy soil is usually too dry.

    Try adding lots of humus (compost etc ) to hold the water in. Otherwise you will spend a lot of time watering.

  • Poppy GirlPoppy Girl Posts: 36

    Thank you.  I will and will also put them near my geraniums that cover the soil so hopefully they will help keep the soil damp.

  • addictaddict Posts: 659

    You could leave them in plastic pots and just bury them. That way when they need repotting you just lift, put in bigger pots and bury again image

  • auntie bettyauntie betty Posts: 208

    Don't fret - astilbes do prefer wet, but aren't desperately fussy and temperamental by the standards of many. I myself prefer 20C and a coastal breeze, but I'm struggling on. To realy pamper them, dig a hole twice as deep as the astilbe pots and the width of roughly however big you think they'll get. Get a bg binbag and cut slices every couple of inches to let water thru, then pop in the bottom and a little up sides of the hole. Backfill with soil and plant as usual. Adding a wee bit of pre-soaked swell-gel around the roots wouldn't hurt (i've been soaking mine in plant food mix). It'll all just help the area hold water longer and stay cooler, which will help somewhat even in the long term, but be really beneficial while they establish. Btw, its worth checking them after a week and possibly popping some more soil over them - sandy soil has a tendency to sink anyway, but there'll have been pockets in the binbag 'liner' that should have filled within the first week or so, potentially leaving the rootballs a bit proud, which astilbes on a light soil and in a heat wave will HATE! If in doubt, bury them extra deep to be sure they wont bake when you turn your back for 5 minutes! Bx

  • fred#60fred#60 Posts: 58

    I`m on sand and have no problems with my Astilbes, water well during this mini heatwave though.

  • Poppy GirlPoppy Girl Posts: 36

    Thank you all.  As the info tags did not say any preferred soil I thought sandy would be OK.  Will try the bin liner idea, water a lot and keep my fingers and toes crossed!

  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364

    Thanks for the advice by you others.

    I have just "won" two "Fanal" Astilbes from the casualty ward  at a Homebase garden centre. £2 each instead of £8.

    The plants have now been well soaked and the dried up foliage chopped off and they look good to go with new shoots in sight. I have very sandy soil which I will bulk up with all purpose compost and plant them over some holey plastic compost bags and see what happens. It's good to know it can work.

    The border  does offer shade and I have nothing much to lose by trying.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364

    I will give that a go. thanks.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

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