False Goat's Beard Astilbe 'Walter Bitner'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
astilbe 'Walter Bitner'


The Astilbe 'Walter Bitner' sports a lush mound of elegant, fern-like foliage that is deeply cut, giving it a delicate and feathery appearance. Its leaves typically showcase a rich, dark green color, providing a vibrant contrast to its flowers. The plant blooms with plume-like flowers that are dense and fluffy, creating a soft, frothy effect. These flowers range in color from a pale, almost pastel hue to a deep, saturated one, depending on the variety. The overall impression of the Astilbe 'Walter Bitner' is that of a graceful, airy plant capable of bringing lightness and a touch of whimsy to any garden setting. Its blooms are often used as focal points or for adding texture to a shaded garden space.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      False Goat's Beard, False Spirea

    • Common names

      Astilbe 'Walter Bitner'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Astilbe, commonly known by this name, is generally considered non-toxic to humans. As such, ingesting parts of this plant is not typically associated with poisoning or harmful symptoms. However, it is always advisable to exercise caution and avoid eating ornamental plants, as individual reactions can vary.

    • To pets

      Astilbe is also non-toxic to pets like dogs and cats. It should not cause any harmful symptoms if ingested by your pets. However, ingestion of non-food items can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal upset or issues due to the physical nature of the plant material rather than its chemical composition. It’s always best to prevent your pets from eating plants not intended for consumption.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Spread

      1.5 feet (45 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Foliage - Astilbe's fern-like foliage adds texture and interest to the garden even when the plant is not in bloom.
    • Long Blooming - Astilbe has a long blooming period, which means it provides color in the garden for an extended time during the summer months.
    • Shade Tolerant - Astilbe thrives in shady areas, making it a perfect choice for gardens with limited sunlight.
    • Humidity Tolerant - It can handle humid conditions well, making it suitable for gardens in climates with high humidity.
    • Low Maintenance - Once established, Astilbe requires minimal care, which includes occasional watering and the removal of spent flowers.
    • Drought Resistance - Although it prefers moist soils, Astilbe can tolerate periods of drought once it is well-established.
    • Pest Resistance - The plant is generally resistant to pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Disease Resistance - Astilbe is also resistant to many common plant diseases, making it a robust addition to the garden.
    • Variety of Colors - It produces plumes in various colors, including white, pink, and red, allowing for a range of design choices in the landscape.
    • Winter Interest - The dried flower plumes of Astilbe can provide visual interest during the winter months.
    • Pollinator Friendly - The colorful and nectar-rich blooms attract butterflies and other pollinators to the garden.
    • Works Well in Mass Plantings - Astilbe is effective when planted in large groups or masses, creating a dramatic visual impact.
    • Good Cut Flower - Its flowers are suitable for cutting and make lovely arrangements for indoor decoration.
    • Compatibility with Other Plants - Astilbe can be combined with other shade-loving perennials such as hostas and ferns for a varied garden design.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Astilbe can be used in craft projects to create dried flower arrangements. The colorful plumes retain their shape and hue after drying, making them a popular choice for long-lasting displays.
    • The plant's dense foliage can be used to create a natural backdrop in terrariums or fairy gardens, providing a lush and textured landscape for miniature settings.
    • Leaves from the Astilbe plant can be pressed and used in botanical art. They can be framed or used as decorative elements in homemade paper or bookmarks.
    • Astilbe's strong stems can be used as natural supports for other, more delicate flowers in a mixed bouquet, helping them to stand upright.
    • Gardeners can use the seeds of Astilbe plants to attract birds. As the season ends, seed heads can be left on the plant to provide food for wildlife.
    • The Astilbe flower can be incorporated into potpourri mixes for a subtle, earthy scent and a pop of color in decorative bowls and sachets.
    • During winter, the stark, frost-covered seed heads of Astilbe can provide visual interest in an otherwise barren garden landscape. They can be left in the garden for winter texture.
    • Astilbe is used in educational projects for children to teach them about plant lifecycles, as its various stages from bloom to seed head are quite distinctive and easy to observe.
    • The vibrant fronds of Astilbe can serve as natural dye agents for fabrics or paper, though this is a less conventional usage and may require experimentation to perfect the hue.
    • At a small scale, the textural contrast of Astilbe’s foliage can be used in photography, as a backdrop for macro photography to give a lush green environment for the subject.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Astilbe is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Astilbe is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Patience: Astilbe takes time to establish and bloom, representing the virtue of patience in growth and development.
    • Hope: With its feathery plumes that seem to reach upwards, astilbe symbolizes hope and the expectation of good things to come.
    • Devotion: This plant's enduring nature and the way it fills its space in the garden reflect a deep sense of commitment and fidelity, often associated with devoted love.
    • Strength in Adversity: Despite its delicate appearance, astilbe is a hardy plant able to thrive in shade, symbolizing endurance and resilience through challenging times.

Every 3-4 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    False Spirea prefers consistently moist soil, which usually requires watering once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions. During hotter and drier periods, water the plant thoroughly, applying about one gallon per square foot of soil, making sure to moisten the soil down to the roots but not to the point of waterlogging. In cooler, damp climates, you may need to water less frequently. Adjust watering during the fall as the plant prepares for dormancy, and in the spring, increase watering as new growth appears. Overhead watering can lead to fungal diseases, so it's best to apply water at the base of the plant.

  • sunLight

    False Spirea thrives in partial to full shade, where it receives filtered sunlight or a few hours of morning sun followed by shade the rest of the day. It is not well-suited for full sun, especially in hot climates, as too much direct sunlight can scorch the foliage and stress the plant. An ideal spot is beneath a canopy of tall trees or on the north side of a building where it receives sufficient light without being exposed to harsh afternoon sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    False Spirea does well in a range of temperatures once established, but prefers a cooler climate. They can survive in temperatures as low as -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit during dormancy and can handle summer temperatures up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal growing temperature for False Spirea is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the active growth phase.

  • scissorsPruning

    False Spirea benefits from occasional pruning to remove spent flowers and promote dense growth. Prune after the blooming period, generally late summer, by cutting back the flower stalks. Deadheading, or removing old flower heads, can encourage a second, though less vigorous, bloom period. If necessary, more extensive pruning to shape the plant or thin out old growth should be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    False Spirea thrives in rich, moist soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. A mix containing peat moss, compost, and perlite works well to maintain moisture and provide good drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    False Spirea typically does not require frequent repotting; it can be repotted every 3-4 years or when it outgrows its current container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    False Spirea prefers high humidity conditions, ideally above 60% for optimal growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Keep moist in well-lit room, high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in shade or part sun, keep soil moist.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Astilbe 'Walter Bitner', commonly known as false spirea, begins its life cycle as seeds that germinate in moist, fertile soil, typically in the cooler temperatures of late winter to early spring. The seedlings develop into clumps of fern-like foliage, and then mature plants produce tall, plume-like flowers in shades of pink to red during the summer months. After blooming, the flowers turn brown and seeds are formed, which can be dispersed by wind or fall close to the parent plant to begin a new generation. During autumn, the foliage may turn bronze or gold before the plant enters dormancy in winter, with the leaves dying back to the ground. The root system, comprising of rhizomes, survives the cold months underground, and as temperatures rise in the following spring, new growth emerges, restarting the cycle. Proper maintenance including division every few years is key for the longevity and vitality of 'Walter Bitner'.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Astilbe 'Walter Bitner', commonly known as false spirea, can be readily propagated through division, which is the most popular and effective method. The best time to divide astilbes is in the spring or early fall when the plant is not in active bloom. To propagate by division, gently lift the clump of the plant from the soil using a shovel, making sure to keep as many roots intact as possible. You then split the clump into smaller sections, ensuring that each has at least two or three growth buds. These sections can be replanted immediately into well-prepared soil, spaced about 18 inches (approximately 45 centimeters) apart to give them enough room to grow. It's important to keep the newly planted divisions well-watered until they establish themselves in their new location.