A bee on a white astrantia bloom

How to grow astrantias

All you need to know about growing and caring for astrantias, in this comprehensive Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do not Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do Sow in August

Do Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do Plant in January

Do Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Cut back
Cut back

Do not Cut back in January

Do not Cut back in February

Do Cut back in March

Do not Cut back in April

Do not Cut back in May

Do not Cut back in June

Do not Cut back in July

Do not Cut back in August

Do not Cut back in September

Do Cut back in October

Do Cut back in November

Do not Cut back in December

  • Plant size

    60cm height

    60cm spread

Astrantias, commonly known as masterworts or Hattie’s pincishion, are cottage garden stalwarts with beautiful pincushion flowers in a range of different colours. Suitable for partial shade and moist soils, astrantias are slug- and snail-proof too, making them a valuable asset in any border. Flowering from June to August, they provide a long season of colour for us, and pollen and nectar for insects.

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How to grow astrantias

Grow astrantias in moist soil in partial shade. Cut back after flowering to encourage a second flush of blooms, and mulch annually. Astrantias can be grown in drier soils as long as they’re watered and mulched regularly.

More on growing astrantias:


Where to plant astrantias

How to grow astrantias - Magenta astrantia flowers
How to grow astrantias – Magenta astrantia flowers

Astrantias thrive in heavy, damp soil, ideally incorporated with plenty of organic matter such as home-made compost, well-rotted manure or leaf mould. They’re happy in sun but will do better in dappled shade.


How to plant astrantias

How to grow astrantias - planting out astrantias
How to grow astrantias – planting out astrantias

Dig a planting hole, remove your plant from its pot and position it in the hole. Backfill with soil and firm in well. Water the plant thoroughly and keep watering through the first summer, especially if you have a free-draining soil. Add organic matter to increase soil fertility and conserve moisture. The plants won’t need staking.


How to look after astrantias

How to grow astrantias - white astrantia flowers with pink-edged petals
How to grow astrantias – white astrantia flowers with pink-edged petals

Astrantias require very little care. Cut the foliage and flowers hard back in autumn or spring. Plants require no support.

Caroline Samuel of Letham Plants gives her three top tips for growing astrantias, in this video guide:


How to propagate astrantias

How to grow astrantias - dividing astrantias in spring
How to grow astrantias – dividing astrantias in spring

Astrantias can be divided in spring. Lift the plant with a garden fork and pull the plant apart. Replant straight away or pot divisions on.

You can also grow astrantias from seed, either by collecting seeds from your own plants and sowing in late summer, or sowing shop-bought seeds under cover in spring.

In this video clip from Gardeners’ World, Carol Klein demonstrates how to collect astrantia seed in autumn, and sow it straight away:

Find out how to sow astrantia see in summer, in our video guide with Monty Don:


Growing astrantias: problem solving

How to grow astrantias -green and purple tinged white astrantia flowers
How to grow astrantias -green and purple tinged white astrantia flowers

Astrantias are trouble-free plants and are usually untroubled by garden pests such as slugs and snails. However they may be susceptible to fungal powdery mildews, which form as a white coating on the plant’s leaves. In autumn, cut back the plants and dispose of, or burn the leaves. Apply a mulch to the soil to prevent any remaining fungal spores splashing up on the plants in spring. Plants that have dried out or are under stress are more likely to be a target.

Dry for cut flowers

Astrantias make excellent dried flowers. Cut the flowers in summer and hang them upside down in a warm dry place.  

Secateurs

Astrantia varieties to grow

How to grow astrantias - Astrantia 'Roma'
How to grow astrantias – Astrantia ‘Roma’
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  • Astrantia major ‘Roma’ – soft pink flowers
  • Astrantia major ‘Venice’ – deep ruby red flowers on a clump-forming plant. This is one of the darkest colours you’ll find
  • Astrantia ‘Buckland’ – ideal for a pastel scheme with soft green and pink bracts and flowers. Slightly larger flowers than other varieties
  • Astrantia major ‘Hadspen Blood’ – very dark, deep red bracts and pink flowers over dark foliage. Almost black margins on the leaves and flowers
  • Astrantia major ‘Alba’ – white flowers with greenish white bracts over green foliage.