Astrantia

We have just bought a half price, end of season Astrantia from the GC, where is the best place to plant it? I am assuming that I need to prune it down, get rid of the flower stems and dying leaves.  What type of soil and outlook does it favour and I am assuming it will die down completely and return next year, when do they flower and is there anything I should look out for i.e. slugs, rot etc. I believe they attract bees, so I am looking forward to seeing that next year.
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  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 2,405
    Astrantias like moisture at the root and will not tolerate drying out.. but they do not need shade... I grow in full sun as the soil is moist, or I can use the hose at certain times..
    They are slug proof and can be used as barrier planting to protect other plants which are slug prone... I do not get slugs or snails anywhere around my Astrantias..
    If cut down after the first flush they will rebloom...  mine are on the 2nd flush now...
    I would just plant that out as it is, but you can chop it and see if you get new growth with fresh flowers.. in your area you may well do so...
  • GrannybeeGrannybee Sunny South EnglandPosts: 211
    I planted an Astrantia in full sun & poor soil. Big mistake. It took me two years to realise I’d got it wrong (slow on the uptake!). Last year I dug it up, cut off all the dead leaves and replanted it in semi-shade with lots of manure & compost. A much better idea and it has thrived. Masses of flowers this summer and some bees but more hoverflies. So, shade & rich soil I guess! 
  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 1,608
    They all like moist retentive soil in part shade - some take full shade and others grow happy in full sun like my hadsden blood . I wouldn't plant any in full sun where you are. do you know what variety it is ? mine often have two flushes . I would remove the dead flowers / straggly leaves ( leave the healthy ones ) and plant it out  :)
  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 456
    Hi @Guernsey Donkey2,

    Just an idea .... but you could use the seeds from that spent flower (they look ripe) and create some "freebies".
    Video here of Monty sowing some.

    https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-sow-astrantia-seed-in-summer/

    Bee x
      image  Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey 
  • Thank you, I think I have an almost perfect spot for the plant, in the shade of other plants although the top will get full sunshine, it will eventually be under a birch tree, but that hasn't matured yet, so not giving any shade.  The soil is rich and we have plenty of good home made compost to start it off. The backdrop is a 4 foot wall, to give the plant some shelter from the wind and we do use the garden sprinkler on this bed every week or so as necessary. I will prune the plant of all the dying stems/leaves and perhaps we will have a second flower display - before I plant it out into the bed in a month or two.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,263
    Yes, they germinate easy, I was about to put some seeds of my dark red ones on here.
    got them growing in sun and shade. Both do equally well, if you plant it out now, cut it all down it will make some nice new fresh green. May get some more flowers, mine are on their second time round now.  

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,041
    I find they can do dry if they have shade but I'm sure they do better with moisture
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 548
    Astrantias grow wild here, at about 1000m or so, in full sun and on very poor rocky soil.  And they always look better than the pampered offspring in my garden!
    (Grown from seed I hasten to add!)
  • I will give seeds a try, thanks for suggesting this.  I do like a plant that multiplies one way or another.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,263
    They will certainly do that GD😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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