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.
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.
Magenta flowers of Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’
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.
Purple-speckled white astrantia flowers
Thanks to Caroline Samuel from Letham Plants, who provided information on the plants in this feature.
White astrantias planted against a contrasting backdrop of black elder and dark purple lysimachias
Plants to combine with astrantias