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GARDENING INFO FROM DOUG – My Perennial Highlight for June

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

JUNE IS PERENNIAL GARDENING MONTH

I am going to continue spotlighting a perennial this month and take advantage of the fact that June is Perennial Gardening Month.

My perennial pick is ASTILBE! Astilbe, sometimes referred to as False Spirea or False Goat’s Beard (don’t ask me why because I don’t know—does anyone know why Astilbe garnered these nicknames?) is a great, shade-loving, herbaceous perennial that spreads via underground rhizomes.

Here in June Astilbe is in full color. They are beautiful. Astilbe has plume-like flowers and fern-like leaves and blooms from early to late summer. Colors are shades of pink, red, white, and lavender. Astilbes are a shade-loving hardy perennial in our area. They are pretty much trouble-free plants that prefer good, rich soil that is well-drained. They will grow and spread over the years. So, be ready to divide if necessary. Fall is a great time to be going this dividing.

Astilbe flowers attract butterflies, and astilbes are both rabbit and deer resistant.

So, move over ferns and hostas, because astilbes are the new must-have plant for the shade gardens with adding color, height, and texture.

One downside to astilbes, unlike some other popular perennials, is that deadheading, or removing the old flowers, does not encourage the plant to promote new flower buds. But, after the blooms are finished, clip off the spent flower stems. The foliage will hold visual appeal through the fall.

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