Indoor astilba – from the garden to the room and back – Beautiful indoor plants

Live bouquets, floristic legends and typical indoor garden plants are now at their peak of popularity. Growing plants like indoor roses, gerberas, eustomas, hyacinths, dahlias, chrysanthemums and even primroses is not always easy. In fact, such plants are forced, and sometimes grown in rooms for only one season. One of these semi-indoor plants, which then need to be transferred back to the garden, is the lace beauty Astilba, which looks like a color cloud. Its spectacular bloom, which cannot be found among the usual blooming stars of the rooms, is one of the most delightful and luxurious sights.

Astilba bloom is one of the most luxurious sights in the garden or in the room. Farmer ThePinsta


Indoor and garden astilba – the queen of the shadow

Astilba cannot be called a houseplant. It is transferred to pots only conditionally and is grown only for six months for the sake of luxurious flowering. Any indoor astilba will have to be planted in the soil for rest, but each bush can be completely used more than once for distilling luxurious inflorescences.

Astilbes appear on the shelves of flower shops on the eve of winter, but the largest selection of forcing plants can be found between the winter holidays and spring.

Astilbe is an amazingly showy and versatile plant from the Saxifrag family. No other flowering garden culture can compete with them in terms of the type and abundance of flowering. And the fact that astilba prefers to grow in shade makes this perennial even more unique. Astilbe is included in all TOPs of garden perennials with beautiful flowering.

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As a houseplant, astilba is a seasonal decoration, a spectacularly blooming analogue of “living bouquets”, which is driven out for flowering at a certain time, and then planted in open soil. It remains a perennial, but requires growing not only in pots.

This status greatly complicates the growing process and limits the scope of distribution: not all growers can afford to plant astilba in a shady flower garden after the indoor season. Of course, you can simply discard the plant after flowering. But since we are talking about valuable and luxurious long-lived perennials, it is better to grow astilba as a garden and indoor culture.

What does astilba look like?

Astilbe’s appearance is regal. This is a hardy, unpretentious, decorative plant both in foliage and in flowering. Thrice- or double-cut, reminiscent of luxurious lace, with a filigree scalloped edge on the lobes, the leaves are painted in a rich green tone and look festive on their own.

The glossy surface of the carved astilba leaves seems surprising for their texture and ornamentation, further emphasizing the beauty of the greenery. Actually, for the beauty of the leaves and their shiny surface, the plant got its specific name (from the Greek “very shiny”). The leaves of the plant only partially resemble a fern, and even then rather with their shade of color.

Astilbe in nature and gardens are capable of producing inflorescences up to 2 m high.In indoor culture, these are half-meter showy bushes of a compact size. Even when choosing ordinary varieties of garden astilbes, the maximum height of peduncles is limited to 60 cm. When choosing the right planting material, astilbes create very elegant, dense, evenly leafy bushes with a diameter of about 40 cm, which look voluminous and luxuriant.

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Astilba inflorescences in the form of paniculate brushes are easily recognizable. In the indoor format, the brightest and most unusual varieties are used, often the inflorescences of the plants presented in flower shops show off not straight, but drooping forms. Thousands of small, barely distinguishable flowers of astilba are collected at the tops of the stems in complex clusters of inflorescences, resembling a thick fur brush. The fluffy, weightless effect of the inflorescences enhances their clear color, which includes different variations of the white and cherry colors with beautiful pastel shades of pink and red tones.

Astilbe blooms in gardens coincide with the peak of the season – mid-summer. In indoor culture, astilba is a winter-flowering plant that is expelled specifically for flowering in mid-to-late winter or for the first spring holidays.

When growing astilba in a room, it is better to give preference to small containers.When growing astilba in a room, it is better to give preference to small containers. Farmer Cliff

Types of indoor astilbe

As a room culture, only two of dozens of astilbe species are grown, but the most spectacular in terms of foliage and choice of colors.

The undisputed favorite among indoor astilbe is called Japanese Astilba (Astilbe japonica). At the same time, not species are chosen for cultivation, but new hybrid varieties of the most compact size, focusing, first of all, on the desired color range of inflorescences.

Japanese Astilba is distinguished by the density of inflorescences, which, with a more modest size – only up to 10-15 cm, seem more lush than in other species. Almost rhombic in shape, strict, catchy, inflorescences contrast especially brightly with double-feathery leaves. The maximum height of this type of astilbe is limited to half a meter (for garden plants – 80 cm).

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Also in room culture, the most compact varieties of a garden favorite are used – Astilba Arends (Astilbe х arendsii, varieties of the Arends group or hybrids of Arends). Thicker and more lush inflorescences in the form of lace brushes in different varieties differ in color and density, shape and size. The dark, glossy foliage in the pots creates thick cushions, allowing you to fully appreciate the grace of this species. The height of Astilbe Arends in pots ranges from 35 to 50 cm.

You can experiment with other species and varieties, but it is the Japanese astilba and the varieties of the Arends group that have proven themselves best in a limited amount of soil.

Astilbe Japanese (Astilbe japonica)Japanese Astilbe (Astilbe japonica). Farmer Stephen Cross
Astilbe x ArendsiiAstilbe x Arendsii. Farmer Stephen Cross

Buying or carrying astilba from the garden to the rooms

On sale, potted astilbe, already adapted for indoor cultivation, are increasingly found. Choosing a healthy plant with strong shoots, without traces of damage on the leaves, with a fresh, rich color, not dry or damp soil, which is at the stage of budding or the beginning of flowering is not such a difficult task. The main thing is not to forget to check how firmly the plant sits in the soil.

But still, in most cases, garden plants are transferred to the indoor format. Indoor astilbe is obtained only by vegetative methods – by dividing adult bushes. For indoor culture, seedlings growing on their site or sold in garden centers are used. Absolutely any low variety of astilba will do, you only need to control one parameter – the age of the plants.

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Only astilbees aged 2 to 3 years are suitable for carrying into indoor culture.

If the plants are dug up in the garden, then the bushes are divided into several parts that can fit in medium-sized containers. Usually, indoor astilbe produce about 6-7 inflorescences, the cuttings for them are taken a little larger than when propagating garden plants, leaving not 3-5, but 5-8 buds in each.

Substrate and containers for indoor astilbe

If indoor astilbe is bought blooming, “ready-made”, their transplant is an undesirable process. The plant will spend energy on adaptation, the flowering period will be reduced to a minimum and the full beauty of the potted astilba will not be appreciated. Therefore, astilbes from flower shops, after a period of mandatory quarantine, are simply placed in more decorative pots or other methods of decorating containers are used. Plants are transplanted into the soil. But plants transferred from the garden or purchased in dealerships require the correct selection of both substrates and containers.

Substrate for indoor astilbe is suitable for any of the universal. Loose, nutritious, neutral or slightly acidic soil (pH 5,5-6,5) is quite suitable. If the soil mixture is prepared independently, then sand, humus and sod soil are mixed in equal proportions for it, or an earth mixture made up of equal parts of leafy, sod soil and compost with half of the sand is used.

Indoor astilbes are not grown in large pots or containers. In order for the plants to reveal all the beauty of flowering, strong, large cuttings or seedlings are used that can grow in containers with a diameter of 12 to 15 cm. In such containers, rhizome growth will not occur to the detriment of not only flowering, but also leaf mass.

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Larger containers will lead to the fact that plants will adapt for a long time, grow roots, bloom poorly, will not remain compact and, due to their gigantic size, will look sloppy. Of course, for a greenhouse or winter garden, you can plant astilbes in more spacious containers, but the effect of a lively bouquet in this case will not be preserved. The exception is mixed complex compositions in flat, wide containers from different plant species.

A universal substrate is suitable for room astilba.A universal substrate is suitable for room astilba. Farmer FloweryVale

Planting and forcing astilba

Planting in containers for forcing, carrying from the garden or buying astilba seedlings is best done in mid-autumn – from the third decade of September to the third decade of October. A high drainage layer must be laid at the bottom of the containers. Seedlings are placed in containers, carefully filling the substrate and trying to keep contact with the roots to a minimum. The level of deepening of the bushes is kept the same as it was in the garden. Finish planting with watering.

The process of forcing astilba consists of several stages:

  1. Immediately after planting, plants that are planned to be grown as indoor plants are placed in the coolest room in partial shade. Soil moisture is maintained stably light. Plants protect against drafts, dry air, too hot temperatures and complete drying out of the soil.
  2. Cold wintering is necessary to simulate a dormant period. Astilbe in December or January is transferred to a dry and cold content, lowering the temperature to 10-12 degrees Celsius. The temperature should not drop below 10 degrees. In the coolness, the plants are left until new shoots begin to grow.
  3. The warm stage of flowering stimulation begins as soon as the plant starts to grow. Astilbe must be placed in a bright, ventilated place, protected from direct sunlight. The temperature within the usual room indicators is quite suitable, although astilba blooms best when kept in indicators from 18 to 21 degrees. If you want to achieve accelerated flowering, the plant is immersed in water with a temperature of about 12 degrees for 25 hours before transferring, and then the excess moisture is allowed to drain completely. You can accelerate flowering and special preparations – for forcing flowers that are sprayed with shoots. At this time, astilba needs to be regularly looked after:
  • for plants, watering is resumed, maintaining a stable moisture content of the substrate and allowing only the upper layer to dry out, but avoiding waterlogging;
  • in the care program, daily spraying or the installation of humidifiers are introduced to maintain at least average, but stable indicators of air humidity.
  1. During the entire period of budding and flowering for astilba, they try to maintain stable temperatures. Perennials need constant access to fresh air, but they are afraid of drafts. The cooler it is in the room, the longer the astilbe will bloom. Caring for a blooming room astilba differs little from caring for any other seasonal abundant flowering species:
  • every two weeks, plants are fertilized using fertilizers for flowering crops in the dosage specified by the manufacturer;
  • watering is carried out according to the previous scheme, maintaining a stable light moisture, preventing the soil from drying out until the end of flowering;
  • faded inflorescences and dry leaves are cut off.
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When buying blooming astilba in a store, it is not worth replanting.When buying blooming astilba in a store, it is not worth replanting.

Transplanting astilba to the garden

After flowering, astilba bushes should not be left in pots for a long time. Dry inflorescences are cut off from plants and containers are transferred to the maximum possible coolness (not lower than 10 degrees Celsius). The illumination is kept the same or gradually reduced, maintaining good air circulation.

After a week or at least 4–5 days of adaptation to low temperatures, Astilbe can be taken out into the garden to get used to the fresh air and to adapt to open soil.

Plants, as soon as the weather and night temperatures allow (you need to avoid the threat of lowering below 8 degrees Celsius), are planted in flower beds or separate beds. In the garden for astilba, shaded, wind-protected areas with high-quality, nutritious and loose soil are chosen. During the summer, the bushes are watered during drought; on poor soils, they are fed 2-3 times with complex fertilizers.

Repeated distillation of the same astilba bushes, unlike many other garden crops moving into rooms, is quite acceptable. Plants that have gained a good vegetative mass can be transferred to the pot again in the middle of autumn this year. There is only one mandatory procedure – dividing the bushes into at least two parts.

Pests and diseases of room astilba

Indoor astilbe are considered completely resistant to pests and diseases. There is a risk of using or buying an infected plant that has suffered in the garden or flower center, as well as the loss of a bush as a result of the spread of rot due to waterlogging.

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If there are signs of infection, you need to adjust the care and immediately start treating with fungicides or insecticides. When transplanting into open soil, the plants are examined and damaged parts are removed.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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