Astrantias (also known as Hattie's pincushion or masterwort) are summer-flowering perennials for mixed beds or borders.


With their starry, convex flower heads, astrantias are similar to sun-loving plants such as scabious and sea thrift, but most varieties of astrantia are shade-loving plants. Discover 10 varieties of astrantia to grow.

As an added bonus, they're resistant to attacks from slugs and snails.

Astrantias are easy to grow – just follow a few basic rules. Here are our three top tips for growing astrantias.

Plant in moist soil

Planting astrantias in the right soil is a crucial first step. Moisture-retentive, humus-rich soil is best – light, sandy soils won't retain enough moisture. Clay soils are also suitable, as long as they don't bake dry in hot weather.

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White-flowered astrantias
Pretty white astrantia flowers

Plant in dappled shade

Generally, astrantias prefer sites with dappled shade, for example under trees or around shrubs in a moist border. Darker varieties, such as 'Hadspen Blood', will perform better in a sunnier spot, so do check before choosing.

Astrantia Hadspen Blood
Magenta flowers of Astrantia 'Hadspen Blood'

Deadhead regularly

Astrantias are prolific self-seeders, so be sure to regularly deadhead if you want to avoid this and to encourage further flowering. Alternatively, snip off the flowers before they finish for an attractive and long-lived cut flower display.

Astrantia flowers
Purple-speckled white astrantia flowers

Thanks to Caroline Samuel from Letham Plants, who provided information on the plants in this feature.

White astrantias with elder and lysimachias
White astrantias planted against a contrasting backdrop of black elder and dark purple lysimachias

Plants to combine with astrantias