I used to think of astilbes in general as needing shade and moisture until I met this one. It thrives in shade and moist soil but it tolerates considerably more dryness and sun than other astilbes; my stand of dwarf Chinese astilbes is creeping into the cracks between the bricks on a sunny walk as I write. It resembles the more traditional astilbes but blooms later than most of them and is shorter and stockier. It has rose pink flowers that rise on stiff stems 12-15” high and persist for 3-5 weeks. The foliage is finely cut and forms dense tufts 6’ high that are attractive all season if not allowed to dry out. Dwarf Chinese astilbe spreads by horizontal underground stems and can be planted as a groundcover, as an edging, or massed in a border or bed.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Small rose pink flowers are produced in mid- to late summer.

Size: 8-12” H x 8-15” W.

Light: Part to full shade but tolerates more light.

Soil: Rich organic, moist, soil but tolerates some dryness.

Fertilizer: Apply compost in spring.

Hardiness: Zones 4-8.

Care: Low maintenance.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance.

Propagation: Division in spring or fall but plants will spread on their own by means of rhizomes.

Companion plants: Medium to small hostas, ferns, lilyturf (Liriope muscari), rose balsam (Impatiens balsamina).

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By Karen