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How to Grow, Propagate and Care for Masterwort Plants

Astrantia species

This plant requires shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsWhite flowering plantPink flowering plantAstrantia maximaHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper
Masterworts are herbaceous, perennial plants that are native to
moist mountain meadows and woodlands of Europe and western Asia.
Fritz the Garden Gnome

These members of the carrot family have bright green, palmate leaves with 5-7 fingers.
From early to mid-summer, they produce wirey, top-branched stems
with intricately formed, ¾"-1¼", pin cushion-like umbels of tightly packed, 5 petaled flowers,
surrounded by a ring of papery, petal-like bracts.
This is an excellent addition to the moist areas in your shaded or woodland gardens,
They are very adaptable to growing in containers.
Masterwort flowers make great cut flower bouquets and can be dried for winter use.

Astrantia major forms a loose, 18" tall and wide mound of foliage. Flowers are pink and white or green and white, standing 6"-8" above the foliage. Hardy in USDA zones 6-9.
Astrantia maxima is a slow spreading, 24"-30" tall perennial. The flowers may be pink or white, and stand 3"-6" above the foliage. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9.

Growing Requirements for Masterworts

When you are planning where to plant your Masterwort, consider where they they grow naturally... in damp, fertile, woodland conditions, or growing near the banks of a pond or small stream, where the soil always remains moist.
Ideally, Masterworts should be grown in a spot where they will receive a few hours of morning sun and dappled shade for the rest of the day. They will tolerate full sun if they have a constant source of moisture, but in most cases you would be better off to grow them in partial shade. Astrantia grown in full shade will have lush foliage but very few flowers.

Masterwort plants should be planted in organically rich, moisture retaining, slightly acidic soil
that has been enriched with a generous amount of well decayed compost at planting time.
If planted next to a pond or stream, make sure that the crown of the plant stands above the water table.

Water thoroughly and regularly. Masterworts will not survive periods of drought.
Feed in early spring and again at mid-summmer, using a good all-purpose, soluble fertilizer,
used according to the directions on the label.
Remove spent flowers promptly to encourage continued blooms.

Propagating Masterwort Plants and Growing Them from Seed

To help maintain your plant's vigor and to increase your collection,
Masterworts should be divided every third year, in early spring.

Masterwort seeds require a 2-3 month period of cold stratification
for germination to take place.

Seeds can be sown directly in the garden in early fall.
If you are starting your seeds indoors, place them in a zip-lock bag of moistened growing medium and keep them in the refrigerator for 3 months before planting.
After sowing, maintain a temperature of 70°-75° within the growing medium until germination, which takes about 4 weeks.
Older seeds tend to develop a harder shell as they age, and may need to be nicked (scarified) to facilitate a speedy germination.
Move plants to the garden after all danger of frost has passed in the spring.

Astrantia maxima
A Masterwort Plant Blooming in the Garden The Flowers of a Masterwort Plant, Astrantia maxima

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