Perfect for containers or the front of borders, Astilbe 'Sprite' (Astilbe simplicifolia) is a lovely dwarf Astilbe which features attractive, open, drooping panicles of shell-pink flowers born on arching stems. Glowing in the shade, each flower plume consists of hundreds of densely packed tiny flowers, each opening in succession, providing a long season of bloom. Quite showy, they rise gracefully in midsummer to late summer above an attractive mound of fern-like deep green, glossy leaves which emerge bronze in spring. Long-lasting, the flower plumes are followed by attractive rust-colored seed-heads which provide winter interest to the garden.
- Relatively trouble-free, this Astilbe requires little maintenance, is heavy shade tolerant, attracts butterflies, but is deer and rabbit resistant! The perfect perennial for a shady border with dappled light!
- This dwarf Astilbe won the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993 and was voted Perennial Plant of the Year in 1994
- Short and compact, this Astilbe grows up to 12-18 in. tall and wide (30-45 cm). The refined, fern-like foliage remains attractive all season long (under satisfactory growing conditions).
- Part shade to full shade lover, this Astilbe thrives in organically rich, evenly moist, well drained soils. Don't let the soil dry out! Mulch should be added to reduce water evaporation and maintain moisture.
- May be planted in full sun in areas with cool summers with adequate moisture. In hot summer areas, shade is important.
- Provides a spectacular flower show, whether planted in perennial borders, woodlands, by streams, ponds or in containers. Plant in groups for better visual effect. Excellent ground cover or edging plant for shady areas.
- Plumes make excellent fresh cuts or for drying in natural bouquets
- No deadheading is required unless you do not like the look of the faded flower stalks. If allowed to remain, the dried seedheads will provide additional interest later in the season. Should be divided about every 4 years to assure the maximum number of blooms.