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Astilbe arendsii 'Cattleya'
Item AB119

'Cattleya' is a stately tall plant that features large panicles of bright rose pink flowers on upright stems (to 36" tall). Attracts butterflies & hummingbirds and is a good cut flower. Typically forms a foliage mound to 12-15" high. Leaves emerge tinged with red but mature to dark green. This is a clump-forming perennial which feature graceful, fern-like mounds of leaves, usually with sharply-toothed leaflets, and tiny flowers densely packed into erect to arching, plume-like flower panicles rising above the foliage on slender, upright stems. It is one of the arendsii hybrids. Cultivar was named for the popular orchid genus. Mass or group in shade gardens, woodland gardens and shaded areas of border fronts or cottage gardens. This is an excellent ground cover or edging plant for shady areas and can be effective on ponds or stream banks. Tall and loosely branched rose-pink plumes bloom from mid to late summer. Prefers partial shade and moist soil. Astilbes are mainstays of shade and woodland gardens. astilbe_arendsii_cattleya

Astilbe_arendsiiCattleya1

   
Size: 2-3 eye • Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Common: Astilbe (False Spirea)

Botanical: Astilbe x arendsii 'Cattleya' • Family: Saxifragaceae

Height: 30-36" • Spacing: 18-24"

Bloomtime: Mid Summer

Flower: Fluffy Plumes of Rose Flowers

Foliage: Dark Green, Fern-Like Leaves

Exposure: Shade or Partial Shade

Pests: No serious insect or disease problems. Unlike the Chinese astilbes (A. chinensis cultivars), the arendsii hybrids have little if any drought tolerance. Foliage decline (leaves brown up), sometimes with significant dieback, will often occur in hot summers and/or periods of drought if soils are not kept uniformly moist.

Notes: The arendsii hybrids are a large group of hybrids involving crosses between A. chinensis, A. japonica, A. thunbergii and A. astilboides and are named after German nurseryman George Arends (1862-1952). Because of the different and sometimes complex parentage of the plants lumped under this hybrid grouping, arendsii hybrids can vary considerably as to plant size, inflorescence shape, and leaf color/shape and bloom period. Generally, however, they are early bloomers that grow 1.5 to 4' tall with ovate to lance-shaped leaflets.

Wilting and dying back can be avoided in hot, dry periods with ample irrigation. Periodically feed with a 5-10-5 fertilizer following label instructions. You can also mulch with well composted manure over Winter. Divide every 3-5 years. The flowers and foliage of the Astilbe are good for cutting and may be used in fresh floral arrangements. The flowers are good for drying. In order to keep Astilbe looking good for the next year, do not cut it back in the winter, (the old foliage helps protect the plant from winter damage), but prune in early spring. Astilbe can be used in perennial borders or shade gardens with Hostas and Ferns and alongside water areas.

Planting instructions: May be planted in any well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 1-2 inches below the soil surface. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly.

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, humusy, organically rich soils. Soils should not be allowed to dry out. If regularly watered, foliage will usually remain attractive throughout the growing season. A summer, compost mulch helps retain soil moisture. Removing faded flower stalks will not prolong bloom, but may improve plant appearance, particularly if a ground cover look is desired. On the other hand, many gardeners leave the flower stalks in place after bloom because of the continuing ornamental interest of the dried seed heads. Divide when clumps become over crowded (every 3-4 years).


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