Astilbe japonica ‘Montgomery’
I think if I could only ever have one Astilbe, I might have to choose Astilbe japonica ‘Montgomery’ (or maybe ‘Granat’, or maybe ‘Fanal’) !!
Deep plum plumes with mahogany foliage
Deep plum feathery plumes on dark red stems, accompanied by mahogany blushed foliage, is pretty much an unbeatable combination.
(Scroll down to “Growing” section below for plant details, how / where to grow).
Elegant powder pink & fresh green
Astilbe japonica ‘Montgomery’ produces a succession of plummy plumes, and the flowers are densely packed.
So when it blooms – you really cant miss it.
The myriad of tiny blossoms that make up each plume slowly open. So it provides a long season of commercial quality cut flowers. And the foliage is always lovely, and graceful. The vivid red new growth in spring is a delight.
‘Montgomery’ is also quite early to bloom, before many others, so again extending your season of Astilbe pleasures.
Aglow in the shade
Astilbe japonica have a preference for partial shade and woodland conditions with dappled light. Though as natural born residents of forests in Japan, they are perfectly happy in full shade, as long as it is well aired.
Growing: Astilbe japonica ‘Montgomery’
– Height with flowers: Feathery plumes to approx 60cm. over late-spring-summer
– Width: Forms a clump of refined foliage to a diameter of approx. 45-60cm.
– Position: Astilbe japonica prefer partial shade and woodland conditions with dappled light. But ‘Montgomery’ will also succeed in full shade, as well as there is good air and light levels.
– Soil: Astilbes will give of their best in loam. They love fertilizer and compost, and can happily have their feet in the water permanently if necessary. They enjoy retentive soil, including clay based soils.
And let’s not fool ourselves – no Astilbe is drought hardy. They like regular water, although if it is regular – it does not need to be lots. Though they will grow happily with their feet in the water.
Hardy & easy in the right spot
– Frost: Astilbe japonica are extremely frost hardy. So they are able to withstand frost to well below -20C.
– Care: Astilbes are easy, low care plants, if they are given their preferred conditions. Then the only work required is to trim off spent flower stems to encourage a repeat of autumn blooms. And finally to chop them to the ground at the end of autumn.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: I would be heartbroken if marauding critters chewed off even one of my gorgeous Astilbes. But fortunately they are not particularly attractive to rabbits, deer, slugs or snails.
Long season of colour and interest
– Growth: Deciduous hardy perennial.
And Astilbe japonica hybrids have wonderful glowing golden autumn foliage. So they are dormant over winter. Before re-emerging with marvellous red and russet new spring foliage. Then flowering again in the spring and summer. So they have a very long season of interest in the garden.
Astilbe japonica ‘Montgomery’ has particularly lovely foliage colours, with vivid red hues in spring. then deepening to mahogany-green blushes over summer.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Butterflies are particularly attracted to the myriad of tiny nectar rich blossoms that make up feathery Astilbe plumes.