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Planting Astilbes in bags! - merlin - 04-10-2006

Hi everyone, I swear there was an article in Garden Gate within the last year or so about planting astilbes into the ground in plastic bags in order to keep them constantly moist, thereby reducing the possibility of them getting crispy and going dormant prematurely. I cannot find this article just breezing through my collection (it's more recent than the latest index they sent out), and the time has come to do this if I'm going to; does anyone remember the particulars, do I punch any holes in the bag for drainage, or use anything other than the soil in the bed? Despite daily watering from a misting hose last year, we had a terrible drought, and I never got any appreciable blooms from mine last year, I'd like to avoid that this year if possible, thanks, as always!

Re: Planting Astilbes in bags! - merlin - 04-17-2006

I found the article, and it wasn't really planting them in bags, just lining the hole with plastic. I decided to do my own test case, and dug up about half of them, lined the holes and added some of these moisture crystals that absorb water and expand (I've used them in hanging planters, and they never seemed to make enough difference, though I added much more than the directions said to!) to the soil before putting them back in the bed. I'll let you know if the ones I replanted fare better than those I didn't!

Re: Planting Astilbes in bags! - Norma - 04-28-2006

Thanks for the Astible planting tips . .only God knows how much money I've spent on Astible just to watch them dry up and disappear! Gonna give it ONE MORE SHOT!

Re: Planting Astilbes in bags! - shadylane - 04-29-2006

Hello gardeners, I remember that article it's in Issue #64, August 2005. Page 16-17. I did that except for adding the cystals. I'm new to Astilbes, their needs, soil conditions ect. But did notice that they need extra watering. And like you Norma let them dry out a few times which hurt. After reading the article I put it to work, and this year so far they look very good, better than last years. We've had a couple of years of drought here in Illinois, and they have been talking of the same and even worse condidtions than the past. So I have high hopes with the "bag pocket"

Re: Planting Astilbes in bags! - Dstny1957 - 07-30-2006

Funny to read this post. I just sent an email to the magazine, because I remember reading an article too. At the time my astibles were fine, but after this summer they just were a mess. I can't find the article either, but I thought it had a picture of astibles on the cover.

Re: Planting Astilbes in bags! - KimmSr - 08-01-2006

The main thing to remember about Astilbe is they are bog plants and need to be grown in soils well amended with organic matter that are evenly moist, and much prefer shade to full sun. I see a lot of people planting these in full sun because the nurseries are telling people they can be. Bad information.

Re: Planting Astilbes in bags! - merlin - 10-09-2006

I thought I should make a report on my results, since I was the one that brought the topic up - I have to say that there appeared to be very little difference between the astilbes/false spirea I replanted in the plastic-lined holes and the ones that I did not. The blooms were moderately good on all (never like I see in the pictures!), but none dried up and got crispy this year, since we got plenty of rain. They are all in the same bed, and get about the same light (dappled through trees, but not much). We did get plenty of rain this year, augmented with my misting hose when necessary. I'd say it wouldn't hurt to do it, but I don't know that I would dig up a bunch of them that were already established. I would say making the soil, as KimmSr said above, more to their liking would probably help more than the bags - I am fighting clay soil all the time, and it takes a while to overcome that, though I'm getting there!

Re: Planting Astilbes in bags! - ms_maj - 02-27-2007

Hello Everyone,

I just joined today. Hopefully no one will mind if I add to this topic. The second year with the plastic lined holes for the astibles will probably show far better results (hopefully). They've had the opportunity to get used to the new situation and settle in. I really enjoy astibles so much. In my garden I have pink which is about three years old now, also there is a white one that I split up last fall as well as a mauve one which I haven't seen bloom yet because I just planted it last fall. I enjoy white flowers in the garden because they show up so nicely in the moonlight.

Good luck with the astibles.

Re: Planting Astilbes in bags! - merlin - 03-08-2007

You know, I never really gave it much thought that my newly plastic-lined astilbes/false spirea might be having adjustment issues, thanks for "planting" that idea in my noggin! Since spring is just around the corner, at least in these parts, I'll definitely report back as to whether I can discern any distinct advantage to the efforts!