Astelia 'Silver Shadow'
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, fertile, peaty soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Floweringperiod: April to May
- Hardiness: half hardy (will need winter protection)
A superb architectural plant that adds drama and definition to a border. It has pointed, spear-shaped leaves that look as though they have been dusted with silver. In mid- to late spring long stalks of pale yellowish green flowers may be produced from female plants, followed by orange berries in the summer. It looks particularly good among grasses, purple-leaved plants, or other plants with silver foliage. In cold winters in exposed areas it may need some protection as it is not fully hardy.
- Garden care: Provide protection during cold winters and divide plants, if necessary, in April to May.
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2 Questions | 2 Answers
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Q:Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear'
Dear Crocus Team, I bought an enormous Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear' plant from you at one of your open days in the spring last year. It is planted in very loamy soil, with lots of mulch next to a wall. It is now looking very ragged and forlorn. Most of its leaves are bent and look bedraggled. I was wondering if I should cut it down to the base to encourage growth or what else might help buck it up. Best wishes KateAsked on 14/3/2010 by Kate Lye
A:Hello Kate, These plants are not fully hardy, so it sounds as if it has suffered a bit during the harsh winter. These plants do not usually need pruning, however if it is looking very tatty, I would remove some of the worst leaves to their base. In another few weeks you can start to feed it, and next year I would try to protect it a little with a layer of frost fleece. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 15/3/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Can I order a female Astelia?
Last year I purchased a really great plant - Astelia Silver Spear and I'd like to order some more. On your website you're clear that the female of the species has flowers - so is it possible to specify a female as part of my order?Asked on 26/2/2007 by Andy Fenton
A:I'm afraid that we cannot tell until the plants start to flower (and they are still too young to do this), if the plant is a female or not, so it is not possible to order a specific gender.Answered on 27/2/2007 by Crocus
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