Masterwort (Astrantia Major ‘Rubra’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Masterwort (Astrantia major ‘Rubra’): A Comprehensive Plant Care Guide

In the world of ornamental plants, masterwort (Astrantia major ‘Rubra’) stands out as a captivating and versatile perennial. Known for its unique, intricate blooms and its adaptability to diverse growing conditions, masterwort ‘Rubra’ is a beloved choice for both amateur and experienced gardeners. In this comprehensive plant care guide, we will delve into the various nuances of cultivating and caring for masterwort ‘Rubra’, covering aspects such as its cultural requirements, uses, water and sunlight needs, fertilizer preferences, soil requirements, pruning, propagation, container cultivation, common diseases, and pest management. Additionally, we will explore the plant’s popularity, along with some fascinating fun facts and essential tips from botanists. Whether you are considering adding this stunning plant to your garden or looking to enhance your existing masterwort ‘Rubra’ cultivation, this guide is tailored to provide you with all the essential information needed for successful and gratifying plant care.

What is Plant Masterwort (Astrantia major ‘Rubra’)?

Masterwort, scientifically known as Astrantia major ‘Rubra’, is a perennial flowering plant that belongs to the Apiaceae family. Originating from the regions of central and eastern Europe, this plant is characterized by its showy and intricate flower heads, which bear a resemblance to star-like pincushions. The species name, “major”, indicates the plant’s significant size in comparison to other Astrantia species, while ‘Rubra’ reflects the deep red coloration of its blooms.

The masterwort ‘Rubra’ is valued for its long-blooming period, spanning from late spring to early summer, and sometimes even into autumn. It is often sought after for its ability to thrive in partial shade, making it an excellent choice for shaded gardens where it can bring vibrant bursts of color. With its stunning appearance and adaptability, masterwort ‘Rubra’ has found its way into a variety of landscaping and garden design schemes, and is a favorite among those who appreciate its unique, almost mystical charm.

Key Takeaways – Masterwort (Astrantia major ‘Rubra’)

Before delving into the intricacies of caring for masterwort ‘Rubra’, let’s highlight some of the key takeaways about this captivating plant:
– Masterwort ‘Rubra’ is a perennial flowering plant known for its intricate and star-like flower heads, which can bloom from late spring to early summer.
– It is valued for its ability to thrive in partial shade, making it an excellent choice for shaded gardens and landscapes.
– This plant is prized for its adaptability and versatility, which allows it to be used in a range of landscaping and garden design applications.
– Masterwort ‘Rubra’ is renowned for its captivating, almost mystical appearance, making it a sought-after ornamental plant.

Now that we have an overview of masterwort ‘Rubra’, let’s explore in detail the various aspects of caring for this enchanting perennial, including its culture, uses, water and sunlight needs, fertilizer preferences, soil requirements, pruning, propagation, container cultivation, common diseases, and pest management.


When it comes to effectively cultivating masterwort ‘Rubra’, understanding its specific cultural requirements is crucial for ensuring its successful growth and development. Let’s explore the key aspects of the plant’s culture.


Masterwort ‘Rubra’ is widely valued for its ornamental purposes, owing to its captivating and intricate flower heads. Here are some common uses of masterwort ‘Rubra’:
– Ornamental Garden Plant: Masterwort ‘Rubra’ is primarily grown for its visual appeal, often used in borders, woodland gardens, and shaded landscapes to add bursts of color and unique texture.
– Cut Flower Production: The striking blooms of masterwort ‘Rubra’ are also utilized in cut flower arrangements, lending a touch of elegance and sophistication to floral displays.
– Pollinator Attraction: The nectar-rich flowers of masterwort ‘Rubra’ attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, contributing to the biodiversity of garden spaces.


A crucial aspect of caring for masterwort ‘Rubra’ lies in providing the appropriate amount of water to meet its specific needs. Understanding the plant’s water requirements is essential for its overall health and vitality.


Masterwort ‘Rubra’ exhibits a preference for partial shade, thriving in locations with dappled sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day. When selecting a site for planting masterwort ‘Rubra’, consider the following sunlight needs:
– Partial Shade: Provide an environment with partial shade, where the plant can receive filtered sunlight for a portion of the day.
– Avoid Harsh Sun: Protect masterwort ‘Rubra’ from intense, direct sunlight, as excessive exposure to harsh sun can lead to leaf scorching and diminished flower quality.


To support the growth and blooming capacity of masterwort ‘Rubra’, providing the appropriate fertilization is essential. Here are some key considerations for fertilizing this perennial plant:
– Moderate Fertilization: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to support healthy growth and blooming.
– Organic Amendments: Consider enriching the soil with organic matter, such as well-rotted compost, to provide essential nutrients and enhance soil structure.


The soil composition plays a significant role in the overall health and vigor of masterwort ‘Rubra’. Understanding the plant’s soil preferences is vital for successful cultivation.


Maintaining proper pruning practices is crucial for shaping and preserving the health of masterwort ‘Rubra’. Explore the following key principles for effective pruning of this perennial plant:
– Deadheading Spent Blooms: Regularly remove spent flowers to stimulate continuous blooming and prevent the formation of seeds.
– Stem Pruning: After the flowering period, trim back the stems to ground level, promoting new growth and rejuvenating the plant for the following season.


The propagation of masterwort ‘Rubra’ allows for the generation of new plants, enabling gardeners to expand their cultivation or share the plant with others. Here are some common methods of propagating masterwort ‘Rubra’:
– Division: Divide established clumps of masterwort ‘Rubra’ in early spring or fall, ensuring that each division possesses viable roots and shoots.
– Seed Propagation: Collect ripe masterwort ‘Rubra’ seeds for sowing in containers, providing the necessary conditions for germination and seedling establishment.

Container Cultivation

Cultivating masterwort ‘Rubra’ in containers offers flexibility and versatility in incorporating this plant into diverse garden settings. When considering container cultivation, keep the following factors in mind:
– Container Size: Select a spacious container with adequate drainage holes to accommodate the root system and promote healthy growth.
– Soil Medium: Utilize a well-draining potting mix formulated for perennial plants, ensuring proper aeration and moisture retention.


Masterwort ‘Rubra’ has gained popularity among gardeners and landscaping enthusiasts for its captivating attributes and adaptable nature. Its widespread appeal and versatile applications make it a sought-after choice for various horticultural endeavors.

Common Diseases

Despite its hardy nature, masterwort ‘Rubra’ may be susceptible to certain diseases that can affect its growth and vitality. Understanding the common diseases associated with this plant is essential for proactive management. Some potential diseases that may impact masterwort ‘Rubra’ include:
– Powdery Mildew
– Botrytis Blight
– Leaf Spot Diseases

Disease Diagnosis

Detecting and diagnosing diseases affecting masterwort ‘Rubra’ involves careful observation and proactive monitoring of the plant’s overall health. Common symptoms of potential diseases in masterwort ‘Rubra’ may include:
– Presence of Powdery White Coating on Foliage
– Dark Spots or Lesions on Leaves
– Premature Leaf Drop
– Stunted Growth or Wilted Appearance

Common Pests

Pests can pose a threat to the well-being of masterwort ‘Rubra’, impacting its growth and floral display. Some common pests that may affect this plant include:
– Aphids
– Spider Mites
– Slugs and Snails
– Caterpillars

Botanist’s Tips

Drawing upon the expertise of botanists and horticultural specialists can offer valuable insights and recommendations for effectively caring for masterwort ‘Rubra’. Here are some essential tips from botanists for successful cultivation of this perennial plant:
– Provide Adequate Air Circulation: Ensure proper spacing and ventilation around masterwort ‘Rubra’ to minimize the risk of fungal diseases.
– Monitor Soil Moisture: Maintain a consistent level of soil moisture, allowing the top layer of the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions.
– Mulch Application: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of masterwort ‘Rubra’ to conserve soil moisture and deter weed growth.

Fun Facts

Discovering intriguing and captivating facts about masterwort ‘Rubra’ can enhance your appreciation for this exceptional plant. Here are some fun facts about masterwort ‘Rubra’:
– Symbolism: Masterwort ‘Rubra’ has been associated with symbolism, representing strength, resilience, and lasting beauty.
– Medicinal History: Historically, certain species of Astrantia were used in traditional medicine for their potential healing properties and therapeutic applications.

Links to External Resources

To further your knowledge and understanding of masterwort ‘Rubra’ and its cultivation, consider exploring the following external resources:
1. Royal Horticultural Society – Astrantia:
2. Fine Gardening – Astrantia:
3. The Hardy Plant Society – Astrantia:

By assimilating the valuable insights and recommendations provided in this comprehensive plant care guide, you are well-equipped to embark on a rewarding journey of cultivating and caring for masterwort ‘Rubra’ in your garden or landscape. Whether you are drawn to its mesmerizing blooms, its versatile applications, or its adaptability to shaded environments, masterwort ‘Rubra’ has much to offer in terms of aesthetic appeal and horticultural value. As you immerse yourself in the care and nurturing of this enchanting perennial plant, may you find joy and gratification in witnessing its captivating beauty unfold with each blooming season.


  1. “Astrantia major ‘Rubra’ Care” – Royal Horticultural Society.
  2. “Growing Masterwort Rubra” – Fine Gardening.
  3. “Masterwort Plant Varieties” – The Hardy Plant Society.
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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.