Flowers

Goldenrod Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Solidago”

Our Guide to Goldenrod plants for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for planting & caring for “Solidago”
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Is a mix of classy, bright-coloured, and low-maintenance the perfect trio for you this year? Look no further! With Goldenrod plants, you will find everything you are looking for in a flowering companion, and even more!

Keep reading to find out more about these curious flowers and why it is impossible to go wrong while growing and caring for them.

The gorgeous Goldenrod plants belong to the Solidago genus that contains about 100 to 120 species of flowering plants. These flowers are native to several regions of Eurasia, North America, and South America. They are mostly herbaceous perennials that grow in a wide range of open woodlands including savannas, prairies, and meadows.

Goldenrod species usually vary in size and overall appearance. These flowers have become pretty popular ornamentals worldwide thanks to their charming and easy-going style, high tolerance of drought, and long blooming period. The most common varieties in cultivation include Bog Goldenrod, Old Field Goldenrod, Seaside Goldenrod, White Goldenrod, and Zigzag Goldenrod.

About Goldenrod

  • Although many North Americans see Goldenrods as nothing but weeds, they are respectable garden plants in Europe. Some species like S. rugosa ‘Fireworks’ or S. ‘Goldenmosa’ have gained the prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
  • Goldenrod plants are rich in nectar, making them highly attractive food sources to pollinators like bees, butterflies, wasps, and flies.
  • Beekeepers produce dark and strong honey from Goldenrod plants in combination with other nectars. When the honey flow is strong, however, a spicy and water-clean monofloral honey shows up.
  • In traditional medicine, folks used these plants to prepare herbal tea. This mixture was very effective against inflammation, irritation, and urinary conditions.
  • Several Native Americans appreciated the seeds of some Solidago species. They consumed the seeds raw or cooked in several traditional culinary recipes.
  • Their roots and young leaves are also edible. In the past, folks chewed the Goldenrod roots to relieve toothaches and the raw leaves to treat sore throats.
  • Goldenrod plants have several therapeutic benefits, helping with skin problems, minor wounds, respiratory issues, seasonal allergies, fungal infections, arthritis and gout, spasms, and also emotional calmness.
  • In some places around the world, people consider Goldenrod plants a symbol of good fortune or good luck. In the Midwestern United States, the flowering of Goldenrod plants in August reminds locals that children will soon go back to school after the summer break.
Goldenrod
Goldenrod

Goldenrod Features: An Overview

  • Goldenrods belong to the Asteraceae family, one of the largest family of flowering plants out there. They share this family with other well-known species, such as daisies and sunflowers.
  • They grow from rhizomes or woody caudices and have a wide range of heights. Depending on the cultivar, these plants can reach from 2 inches to 5 feet (5 cm to 1.5 m) in height.
  • The hairless to puffy foliage consists of smooth, greenish, and slightly toothed leaves that appear on crawling to ascending and, sometimes, erect stems. The leaves measure about 4 inches (10 cm) in length and 1 inch (2.5 cm) in width.
  • Goldenrod plants have a long flowering period, lasting from late summer through mid-fall. Some specimens like S. rugosa ‘Fireworks’ can still bloom until the first frost shows its face.
  • During their blooming season, these plants exhibit numerous and abundant clusters of tiny, bright, and nectar-rich flower heads. When open, the blossoms exhibit various shades of light yellow to golden.
  • Goldenrod plants produce fruits once their blooming period has come to an end. The fruits are dry, hairy, cylindrical, hairy, and single-seeded achenes.
  • These flowers can make for excellent companions to other species of flowering plants including Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, Helenium ‘Waltraut’, Rough Blazing Star, Russian Sage, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Spotted Bee Balm, Tall Verbena, and Wild Petunia.

Growing Goldenrod

In general, Goldenrod plants are very easy to grow and care for, being able to tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. Moreover, you will have no reason to worry about unexpected intruders. Pests and fungal diseases seem to skip these flowers most of the time. With little care, you will have these spectacular buddies around for a long time!

If you want your Goldenrod plants to bloom sporadically, full sunlight exposure is what you are looking for. Make sure you grow these flowers in a location where they can receive at least six hours of bright and direct light daily. They can also do well in partial shade, but the overall lack of lighting can result in fewer blossoms.

Goldenrod plants can withstand a variety of temperatures, although they prefer those in the mid-warm areas. During the freezing winter months, these beauties go dormant and die back into the ground until next spring. In terms of humidity levels, Goldenrod plants have no particular demands.

Planting Goldenrod

The most challenging part of growing Goldenrod plants is where and how you decide to plant them. Besides finding the perfect spot for your plants, most of the maintenance consists of providing air circulation and avoiding over-spreading in unwanted areas. And, believe us, they tend to spread like crazy, especially during their active growing period!

In outdoor settings, you can control the spread by dividing and transplanting your Goldenrod plants once every two years. This process will help to prevent your plants to fully establish their root system. If your garden is too small, however, it is wise to grow Goldenrod flowers in beds or pots to limit their growth/spread.

Solidago canadensis
Solidago canadensis

As long as the soil has excellent drainage, Goldenrod plants are not so picky when it comes to their growing medium. They can even grow properly in clay, rocky, or sandy soils without complaining about it. Make sure you avoid substrates that are too rich in nutrients or organic matter, as they can result in leggy plants. If you want to grow Goldenrod flowers indoors, look for pots that have drainage holes at the bottom to avoid soggy conditions.

In most cases, Goldenrod plants can do just fine without regular fertilizing in their caring routine. Yet, they will need some extra help if you grow them in very poor soil. For optimal growth, apply a layer of organic matter, such as compost, once every year in spring.

Watering Goldenrod

The greatest joy of caring for Goldenrod plants is that they do not require frequent or regular watering to thrive. In general, these flowers are tolerant of drought for long a long time. However, you must give them more water than usual until they settle in their new environment.

Water your young Goldenrod flowers once every week to maintain their soil moderately damp. Once established, usually after a year o so, these plants bring their drought-tolerant features in the spotlight. Unless you live in a region with scarce rainfalls, they will not demand supplemental irrigation at all.

To avoid soggy conditions or over-watering, you should always check the soil before watering your Goldenrod plants again. When the substrate has dried out completely, you can provide your thirsty plants with a nice and deep soaking. During the hot and dry summer months, water them each time the soil feels dry to the touch as 2 inches (5 cm) deep.

Propagating Goldenrod

Due to their invasive nature, Goldenrod seedlings are not widely available in markets or nurseries. But you have something better − the very motherly plants themselves! As with many species of wildflowers, you can propagate these buddies through seeds with no effort. And if you do not have enough space for more babies, no worries! You can always show how much you care for your family members or friends by gifting them these lovely flowers.

Propagating Goldenrod plants using seeds consists of collecting them from the mother plant, then sowing them in fresh soil. For nice results, start the seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost date or sow them directly outdoors in spring or fall. If you sow the seeds in late fall or early winter, they will show signs of germination in the next warmth of spring.

No matter when and where you are planting the Goldenrod seeds, germination will occur only under full sunlight exposure. Because of this, make sure you are sowing the seeds right on the soil surface without covering them with the substrate. Provide the seeds with water once in a while to maintain the soil constantly damp but not waterlogged.

Once the Goldenrod seedlings show their splendour and their roots some strength, you can transplant them into their own pots. If you want to keep the flowers in the same spot from the beginning, sow the seeds at one foot (30 cm) distance between them to provide adequate space for mature plants to develop.

In Conclusion

Goldenrod plants don’t just bring a nice and warm dash of colour to your surroundings, but they also come with numerous interesting health benefits. What reason could you possibly have to not add these flowers to your collection? With minimal care, lots of love, and no worries, they will be a loyal friend for a long time.

Do you already have a story to tell with Goldenrod plants? Share it in the comment section!

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Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact miruna@gardenbeast.com

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