The Military Flat-Top: How To Prune Your Astilbe (Video Tutorial)

Flickr photo by IrishFireside Feathery Astilbe plumes in spring are one of my favorite seasonal shows, and even though I’m a big proponent of year-round interest, I’ll forgive a species that goes dormant if it does so with either:

A. Loads of fanfare and splashy color, or up-to-the-last-second blooms.

B. Such profoundly fast dieback that one day you are enjoying its fetching foliage and the next, you can hardly recall what that mass of brown used to be, it’s so far gone.

The Astilbe falls into that second category – and the pruning on it is simple:

The ''After'' shot - neatly trimmed and ready for spring!

Yes, really! A two-inch tall flat-top. Don’t cut below that or you risk damaging the buds that will sprout next year’s growth (or stepping on your poor invisible Astilbe as you putter about this winter). Watch me ready this Astilbe for winter below (as always, click through to YouTube and select “Watch in high quality” for a better view):

5 responses to “The Military Flat-Top: How To Prune Your Astilbe (Video Tutorial)”

  1. The flat-top is a great lead-in to a pruning primer!
    When I went to view the video it said it was no longer available. Darn.
    Also, we’ve got 3 inches of snow on the ground south of Seattle tonight, and it is still snowing. I think I’ve had about enough of the white stuff.

    Aerie-el’s last blog post..SNOW TRACKS

  2. Hey Aerie-el! Wow, my Mom is going to be grouchy about all that snow! She lives in Seattle so probably got some too.

    The video is working fine right now when I click it, and when I clicked through to YouTube it was working there, too – I wonder if YouTube just had a weird glitch when you tried to watch?

  3. Must have been a glitch. It’s working now!

    Our snow is pretty much melted now, but we’ve had massive amounts of rain so they’re talking flooding. I think the majority of us here are getting tired of this wicked weather and its mood-swings!

    Aerie-el’s last blog post..SUET FEEDERS

  4. Oh boy, yes, I know my Mom is sick of it! And that stupid weather made my sent-very-early Christmas presents to them late, so I am grouchy about it too. Now flooding! Gracious.

  5. Didn’t cut astilbe down in winter. It is spring now and not sure if I am to
    prune the brown flower tops off or trim the whole plant down. They were
    put in about a year ago so not familiar with them.