An instant classic for the landscape! 'Dark Side of the Moon' is the only dark leafed Astilbe with purple flowers that's on the market. Rich deep chocolate burgundy leaves form an incredibly attractive mound of foliage. Emerging leaves are yellow with a dark margin with a glossy sheen that become completely dark as they age. Dark stems hold raspberry buds that burst forth with rosy purple flowers. This performs best both for growing and flowering in full sun in the north with adequate moisture, but also grows in shade.
A member of Astilbe chinensis (Chinese Astilbe). A later blooming species useful for extending the bloom season into late summer. Foliage is deeply incised, coarsely textured, and often bronze-green in color. Flowers are borne on narrow, branched panicles. Though garden performance is far superior in moist soils, members of this species are moderately drought tolerant.
Astilbes are long-lived perennials that are most comfortable when grown in rich soil and light shade to filtered sun. They will grow in full shade, but will not bloom as prolifically there.
Though they are easy to grow, Astilbes have one critical requirement--lots of water. Plants must have consistently moist soil; dryness leads to a quick demise, especially in sun. Increase watering as the foliage emerges and the plumes mature. If the soil dries out, the leaves will develop brown, crispy margins and will begin to drop.
Fertilize Astilbes in late spring before flowering starts. Wait to cut back the old foliage until spring; it will help protect the plant from winter damage. In the spring, if the crown has risen above soil level, gently press it back into the ground and apply some organic matter around the plant.
Informaiton and photos from Walters Gardens
Astilbe 'Darkside of the Moon'
Common Name Astilbe Plant Type Perennial Zone 4-9
Spread 24-28" Growth Habit Upright, Mounding Growth Rate Medium Bloom Time Late Summer Light
Full Sun (>6 hrs. Direct Sun)
Part Shade (4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)
Full Shade (<4 hrs. Direct Sun)
Low Water Needs
Average Water Needs
Fertile Soil Quality
Origin Not Native to North America Attracts Wings: