Goldenrod flowers provide bright late summer and fall color that works well in prairie-style planting schemes. Their tall stems and clustering flowers swaying in the wind are a familiar roadside sight.
In the past they’ve been associated with hayfever, but it’s now known that this is usually caused by ragweed flowering at the same time.
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Prepare the soil by adding organic leaf mulch and compost where you wish to sow seed in spring. Sow lightly. Once seedlings emerge, dig up and replant at a spacing of 12 inches (31 cm). Keep moist until they are fully established.
Goldenrod flowers are enthusiastic self-seeders. Look around the base in spring to see new plants emerging. It is also possible to grow by taking root cuttings in the spring.
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Deadhead flowers to prevent self-seeding as this plant will easily take over an area. Goldenrods need little care and will grow on poor soil. Don’t be tempted to feed these plants as this encourages taller, weaker stems.
Cut back plants to their base in fall or leave to provide some winter interest and cut back in spring. Divide them in spring by cutting through the rhizomes with a sharp, clean spade. Remove the woody central root and replant the young rhizomes to form healthy new plants. If plants aren’t divided, they are less likely to form a bush shape.
Most Goldenrod flowers are better left unsupported to form natural movement in your garden.
You can cut Goldenrod stems to add loose floral arrangements in late summer and early fall. Clip with a sharp pair of shears.
Goldenrod plants also make great dried flowers. Cut stems and hang upside down indoors to let them dry.
Goldenrod flowers are mostly pest and disease resistant. They need very little care. Regular division every 2 to 4 year will encourage healthier plants.
The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing Goldenrods (see Organic Garden Pest Control for information about how to prevent and address pests and diseases)...
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