Chinese Astilbe Astilbe chinensis var. davidii

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
David's Chinese astilbe


Astilbe chinensis var. davidii, more commonly known as Chinese astilbe, is a perennial that is admired for its elegant and feathery flower plumes. The flowers bloom in a graceful, elongated cluster, which takes on a narrow, triangular shape. They come in a variety of colors, commonly shades of pink, white, or lavender, adding a soft and fuzzy texture to garden spaces. The foliage of the Chinese astilbe is equally attractive. The leaves are deeply cut, resembling ferns, contributing an intricate and delicate texture. The rich green color of the leaves contrasts beautifully with the light and airy flower plumes, creating a lush and vibrant visual. Moreover, the leaves often have a glossy sheen and can sometimes exhibit a bronze tint when they emerge. The plant as a whole adds a sense of lightness and feathery detail to any garden space, thriving in shady areas where many plants may not. Its bloom period, typically in the summer, invites interest and provides a soft, yet dramatic statement when most other shade plants have already completed their show. With its elegant appearance, Chinese astilbe is a go-to choice for gardeners looking to add a touch of gracefulness and fine texture to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Chinese Astilbe, False Goat's Beard, False Spirea

    • Common names

      Astilbe davidii, Astilbe rivularis var. davidii.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Chinese Astilbe is not known to be toxic to humans. Therefore, there are typically no symptoms associated with poisoning from this plant, as it is generally considered safe. Ingesting any part of the Chinese Astilbe is unlikely to result in any toxic consequences.

    • To pets

      The Chinese Astilbe is also not known to be toxic to pets. Much like with humans, there are no common symptoms of poisoning from this plant because it is not considered harmful. Ingesting any part of the Chinese Astilbe should not produce any toxic effects in pets.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental appeal: Astilbe chinensis var. davidii, commonly known as Chinese Astilbe, produces attractive plumes of flowers that enhance the beauty of gardens and landscapes.
    • Shade tolerance: Chinese Astilbe thrives in shady areas where many other plants may struggle, making it ideal for wooded gardens or areas with dappled sunlight.
    • Low maintenance: This plant is relatively easy to care for, requiring minimal maintenance once established, which can be especially beneficial for busy gardeners.
    • Attracts pollinators: The flowers of the Chinese Astilbe are known to attract butterflies and other pollinators, thus contributing to the health of your garden ecosystem.
    • Soil erosion control: Thanks to its dense foliage and root system, Chinese Astilbe can help to prevent soil erosion, particularly in moist, shady areas.
    • Drought resistance: Once established, Chinese Astilbe can be quite resilient during short periods of drought, although they prefer moist conditions.
    • Deer and rabbit resistance: The plant is generally resistant to deer and rabbits, which helps to prevent damage and ensures the garden remains intact.
    • Seasonal Interest: Chinese Astilbe offers visual interest throughout multiple seasons with its foliage in spring and summer, followed by interesting seed heads in fall and winter.
    • Variety of colors: This plant offers a range of colors through its various cultivars, allowing gardeners to choose hues that best fit their garden's color scheme.
    • Great companion plant: Chinese Astilbe can be easily paired with other shade-loving plants such as ferns and hostas to create a lush, textured garden bed.

  • 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 is often used in pressed flower crafts due to its intricate feathery plumes, which retain a good amount of color and texture when dried.
    • The plants can be employed in fabric dyeing, where different parts of the plant may yield subtle variations in hue, particularly in shades of green to yellow.
    • Their fern-like foliage adds a fine texture to garden arrangements, making them suitable for ornamental garden designs that require underplanting for larger shrubs or trees.
    • Astilbe can serve as a natural indicator of soil moisture levels; if they begin to wilt, it might be a signal for gardeners to water the surrounding plants.
    • In some gardening communities, Astilbe is used in the creation of fairy gardens due to their whimsical appearance and range of sizes.
    • Garden pathways often feature Astilbe varieties for their ability to edge walks with soft foliage and blooms without encroaching harshly on the path.
    • Some creative landscapers use Astilbe's different colored varieties to create a mosaic or patterned effect in garden beds.
    • Astilbe plumes are incorporated into winter garden designs, as they can catch snowflakes on their plumes, adding a distinctive texture to the landscape during colder months.
    • It is sometimes used in educational settings, like school gardens, to illustrate plant life cycles and perennial growth habits to students.
    • Hobbyists who build model train landscapes or miniature scenes use the Astilbe plant to simulate miniature trees or forest undergrowth due to their scale-like appearance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Astilbe is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Astilbe is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Patience: Astilbe takes time to bloom and prefers the shade, symbolizing the virtue of patience and the idea that good things come to those who wait.
    • Love and Commitment: Often used in wedding bouquets and arrangements, the astilbe represents lasting love and dedication.
    • Elegance and Grace: With its feathery plumes and refined appearance, astilbe is associated with gracefulness and a delicate, sophisticated beauty.
    • Hope and Positive Energy: The vibrant colors and lush foliage of astilbe stand for hope and the presence of positive energy in one's life.

Every 3 days
500 - 2500 Lux
Every year
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    False Spirea should be watered deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather and soil conditions. It's essential to keep the soil evenly moist, especially during hot, dry spells. Typically, each plant will require about 1 gallon of water per week, although this can vary with local conditions. Water at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry and help prevent the onset of fungal diseases. Cut back on watering if rainfall provides the necessary moisture, but never let the soil dry out completely.

  • sunLight

    False Spirea thrives in partial shade to full shade conditions. Ideal placement would be where the plant receives indirect or filtered sunlight; too much direct sun can scorch the leaves and stress the plant. A spot under a lightly canopied tree or on the north side of a building where it's protected from the harsh afternoon sun would be perfect.

  • thermometerTemperature

    False Spirea prefers cool to moderate temperatures and is hardy in a range usually between 40°F and 75°F. The plant can tolerate temperatures down to about -30°F in winter and can withstand brief periods of heat above its optimum range, but prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures may harm it. Ideally, maintain a temperate environment that doesn't stray to the extremes for long periods.

  • scissorsPruning

    False Spirea should be pruned to remove spent flowers and dead or damaged stems, which encourages new growth and maintains plant health. Pruning can be done in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Cut back the stems by about a third to stimulate a lush, bushy appearance. Deadheading, or removing the old flower heads after blooming, can also promote a second bloom in some varieties.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Chinese Astilbe thrives in moist, well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a soil pH range of 6.0 to 8.0. A best soil mix would consist of garden soil, peat moss, and perlite or vermiculite to enhance drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Chinese Astilbe generally does not require frequent repotting and can be repotted every 2 to 3 years, or when it has outgrown its current container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Chinese Astilbe prefers high humidity environments; maintaining humidity levels of around 60-80% is ideal for this plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in shade, keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in part shade, moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Chinese Astilbe (Astilbe chinensis var. davidii) generally begins its lifecycle as a dormant rhizome or seed which, when conditions are optimal, will sprout and begin to grow into a small plant. As the plant matures, it develops a lush foliage of fern-like leaves, creating a dense mound of greenery. During the early to mid-summer, the Chinese Astilbe produces feathery plumes of flowers that range in color from pink to purple, attracting pollinators to its blooms. After flowering, the plant sets seed, which can be dispersed to produce new plants, continuing the reproductive cycle. As the cooler season approaches, the Chinese Astilbe's above-ground growth dies back, with the plant going dormant and surviving the winter through its rhizome. In the following spring, the plant reemerges from dormancy and the cycle begins anew.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The Chinese astilbe, Astilbe chinensis var. davidii, is typically propagated via division, a method favored for its simplicity and effectiveness. This involves gently separating an established plant into smaller sections, each with their own roots and shoots. The best time for division is in the spring before new growth starts, or in the fall after the blooming period. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the parent plant, preserving as much of the root system as possible. Use a sharp knife or spade to divide the plant into smaller clumps, ensuring each section has several healthy roots and shoots. These divisions can then be replanted at the same depth they were previously growing, spaced about 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 centimeters) apart, which allows ample room for growth. Water the new plants thoroughly to help establish them.