Plant spacing is based on the ultimate width of the plants. This figure is normally given as a range; for example, 3-5’. If you live in a cold climate and/or want plants to fill in more quickly, plan to space at the shorter end of the range. If you live in a warm climate, are on a limited budget, or are willing to wait longer for plants to touch, use the higher end of the range. Using the larger number is recommended when calculating distance from a building or structure. There’s really no such thing as "maximum spacing": if you don’t want your plants to touch, you can space them as far apart as you’d like. All plant spacing is calculated on center, or in other words, the centers of the plants are spaced one half of their eventual width apart:
Unless you are planting in a straight line, as you might for hedges or edging, space your plants in a staggered or zig-zag pattern for a more interesting and naturalistic look:
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DescriptionWith dark magenta red flowers, 'Montgomery' astilbe ( Astilbe japonica ) adds a splash of color to part sun and shade gardens, right where it's needed the most. Fluffy plumes of flowers appear in midsummer, just a bit earlier than other astilbes. Its foliage continues to add interest from spring to fall. Emerging in spring, the leaves carry a bronze-red hue before turning a deep glossy green.
Astilbes pair perfectly with coral bells and hostas in shade gardens, where they attract pollinators and deter deer. While they can grow in full shade, they produce more blooms in light shade or filtered sun. While they're easy to grow, the key to success is keeping them moist (or even wet), especially in full sun. If you notice your plants are developing brown edges, it's time to crank up the sprinkler. Deadhead your plants for a tidy appearance, or skip sheering to enjoy textured spent flowers through winter!Details Botanical name: Astilbe japonica 'Montgomery' Common name: False Spirea Zone: 4 - 9 Sun exposure: Shade (< 4 hours sun) to part-sun (4-6 hours sun) Height x width: 20-24" x 12-18" Flower color: Red Foliage color: Green Season of interest: Summer Bloom time: Early summer Features: Winter interest, wet soil, rabbit resistant, low flammability, heat tolerant, ground covers, deer resistant, container plants, cold tolerant Uses: Accent, border, container gardening, cottage gardening, edging, ground cover, massing, naturalizing, rain garden, under planting, waterside, woodland How To Grow Soil: Grows best in organically rich, evenly moist, well-draining soil. Light: Part-sun (4-6 hours sun) to shade (< 4 hours sun) Water: Likes soil consistently moist. Adding mulch can help retain soil moisture. Spacing: 18-24 inches Fertilizing: Astilbe is a heavy feeder that requires lots of nutrients. Fertilize early in the spring to produce healthy flowers with a 5-10-5 fertilizer blend. After it has bloomed, apply an additional handful of fertilizer around the plant's base. Winterizing: No specific care is needed. Foliage dies back in winter and can be cleared away in early spring before the plant sends up new shoots. Maintenance & pruning: No deadheading is required unless you don't like the appearance of spent blooms. If left on, they provide winter interest to the garden. Divide the roots of the plant in early spring or late fall when the plant is dormant.
Questions Answered Series: Rain Gardens
Rain gardens have taken the horticultural industry by storm, no pun intended. Here, Great Garden Plants answers all your questions about designing, planting, and caring for rain gardens.