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astilbe flowers drying up, and skeletonized leaves

Posted by lalala 6 (metro Boston) (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 11, 09 at 13:30

I planted two new astilbes last fall, and they came in huge and happy this spring. I don't remember the variety--I think it's supposed to have light pink flowers, and the leaves are darker green with reddish stems. They started putting up some flower stalks a few weeks ago, but today I noticed that the flower stalks have stayed small and most of them are dry and shriveled. Also, one of the plants has some skeletonized leaves (though most of the foliage is still healthy). I don't see any obvious bugs. The other astilbes in my yard are doing fine, putting up plenty of good flower stalks. Any ideas as to what is happening? Thanks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: astilbe flowers drying up, and skeletonized leaves

Lack of water? They will crisp up and not bloom if the soil is too dry.

RE: astilbe flowers drying up, and skeletonized leaves

It could be water only if these astilbes have greater water requirements than the other varieties--is that possible? The other astilbes (including one other new one of another type) are all in the same bed and are doing fine, and we have an irrigation system so it stays fairly moist.

RE: astilbe flowers drying up, and skeletonized leaves

  • Posted by ngam z6a ma (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 11, 09 at 15:22

Well you are pretty sure its not lack of water and only a few leaves have been munched on but the rest look healthy. Three weeks ago when these new flower stalks were growing didn't we have a frost warning or near freezing temps for a couple of nights? Could be this variety was more vulnerable to the temp change than the others. If there is no further damage and the rest of the plant seems healthy I would blame the weather. Cut back the dead flower spikes and look for new growth at the crown. The weather this spring has been a little inconsistent to say the least, no wonder some plants don't know if they are coming or going. I hope it is only that and not one of the ever increasing insect problems that have been imported. Good luck to you and your new astilbe.

RE: astilbe flowers drying up, and skeletonized leaves

Yes, we did have a frost warning a few weeks ago, and maybe that did it. Now that I think of it, these particular plants did seem a bit more finicky than the other one that I planted last fall--they had a bit of transplant shock and some dried up foliage. So maybe this variety is more delicate and was damaged either by the cold temps or a brief dry spell.

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