How to Grow Goldenrod: A North American Native Plant

Goldenrod is a medium green-foliage plant that blooms with golden flowers in late summer to early fall.

It is native to North America and can be found growing in fields, meadows, and along the side of the road.

Goldenrod provides nectar for pollinators such as the Monarch butterfly and is becoming increasingly popular among gardeners due to its showy flowers.

There are over 100 varieties of goldenrod, but only a few are commonly grown as garden perennials.

This blog post will discuss how to grow goldenrod from seed or from a potted nursery, as well as some of the most popular cultivars.

Common Name Goldenrod
Botanical Name Solidago spp.
Family Asteraceae
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 1.5-5 ft. tall, 1-3 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full sun; partial sun
Soil Type Average to infertile, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, neutral
Bloom Time Summer through fall
Flower Color Yellow
Hardiness Zones 2a-8b (USDA)
Native Area North America

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy:

When growing goldenrod, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind in order to ensure your plants are healthy and thrive:

  • Goldenrod prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade.
  • Plants need well-drained soil; amend with compost if needed.
  • Water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep root system. After that, goldenrod is quite drought tolerant.
  • Fertilize annually with a balanced fertilizer or compost Tea.

Lighting and Temperature

Goldenrod grows best in full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH level.

If you’re planting goldenrod in an area that gets a lot of rain, make sure the drainage is good to prevent the roots from rotting.


Goldenrod is a very adaptable plant and will grow in a variety of soil types as long as the drainage is good.

It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade, especially in hot summer climates.

If you are starting with seed, it is best to sow it in the fall so it has a chance to germinate and become established before the heat of summer.


Fertilizer isn’t necessary for plants to grow well. In fact, too much fertilizer can actually harm the plant by promoting excessive growth that makes the plant more susceptible to disease and pests.

If you choose to fertilize your goldenrod, use a balanced fertilizer such as a 20-20-20 or a 30-30-30.


Pruning goldenrod back in the spring will produce a bushier plant with more flowers. If you let it go to seed, birds will love you for it in the winter.

To propagate, take stem cuttings of new growth in late spring or early summer. You can also divide an overgrown clump in early spring.


Goldenrod plants are drought-tolerant and only need to be watered when the soil is dry to the touch.

They grow best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade, especially in hot summer climates.

Goldenrod does not require much fertilizer; a light application of an all-purpose fertilizer once a month is sufficient.


Goldenrods are quite variable in size, with some cultivars reaching up to six feet tall and others staying short at around two feet.

The average width of the plant is about eighteen inches. When planting goldenrod, be sure to give it plenty of room to spread out; spacing plants three to four feet apart is typically recommended.


Flowering in late summer to early fall, goldenrod (Solidago spp.) is a welcome addition to the garden at a time when many other plants are winding down for the season.

Standing tall and slender, with an abundance of small yellow flowers on each stem, several cultivars of goldenrod add color and texture to both formal and informal gardens.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Though goldenrod is a hardy plant, it is not immune to pests and diseases. Rust, powdery mildew, and leaf spot are all common fungal diseases that can affect the plant.

However, these diseases are usually not fatal, and fungicide spraying is an effective treatment option.

Many species of goldenrod prefer dry soils, but root rot can occur if the plant is grown in damp or thick soils.

Aphids, beetles, and gall-forming insects are all known to attack goldenrod; however, the plant is usually able to recover from these attacks without difficulty.

In sum, while goldenrod is not entirely immune to pests and diseases, it is a relatively resilient plant that can withstand a fair amount of damage.

Propagating Goldenrod

Goldenrod is a beautiful addition to any garden, and it’s easy to propagate by division or cuttings.

In the spring, after the new growth has begun, you can use a shovel to remove the entire plant from the soil. If the plant is too large to lift in one piece, you can lift it in sections.

Each section must have at least two potential growth paths. Remove any dirt that aids in the division of the rhizomes into smaller segments. Plant each section at the same depth as the first plant and water thoroughly.

Continue to water the area until you notice growth. Goldenrod cuttings can also be used to propagate the plant: during the summer, trim four-inch stems from the bottom of the plant with clean garden shears.

Rooting hormone should be applied to the cut edges. Planting the cuttings about a centimeter deep in a 4- to 6-inch pot filled with moistened potting mix should result in growth within six weeks.

Water regularly and fertilize monthly during the growing season. Transplant into the garden in late summer or early fall.

Types of Goldenrod

The size and appearance of the various goldenrod species vary. Among the most popular species, all of which are native to North America, are:

The stem of Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod) is curved and purplish-purple. It is not a vigorous spreader and produces attractive cut flowers.

Solidago Odora (sweet goldenrod) is a 2- to 4-foot plant with anise-scented leaves and yellow flower heads. It is not invasive and thrives in dry, saggy soil.

Solidago rugosa, also known as rough goldenrod, is a three to five-foot-tall plant that prefers moist conditions. ‘Fireworks’ is one of the most popular cultivars. Its golden yellow flower heads resemble exploding skyrockets.

Solidago specifica, also known as showy goldenrod, can reach heights of one to three feet and bears dense clusters of showy yellow flowers. It thrives in dry soils and tolerates poor drainage.

Regardless of which species you choose, goldenrods are easy-to-grow plants that will add beautiful color to your garden from late summer into fall.

Where does goldenrod grow in the garden?

Goldenrod is a common garden flower that is easy to grow and maintain. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and it will bloom from late summer to early fall.

Goldenrod is a great choice for gardeners who want to add color to their landscape without a lot of effort.

The plant is also attractive to bees and butterflies, making it a valuable addition to any pollinator garden.

Goldenrod is generally disease-resistant and tolerant of poor soils, so it is a low-maintenance plant that is perfect for busy gardeners.

With its bright yellow flowers, goldenrod is sure to add beauty and interest to any garden.

Does goldenrod reseed itself?

Goldenrod is a beautiful addition to any garden, but it can be a bit of a troublemaker if you’re not careful. Once the plants bloom, they produce copious amounts of seed that can quickly spread through your garden.

If you’re not careful, you may find yourself with more goldenrod than you know what to do with. However, there are some easy ways to control the spread of these plants.

Deadheading the blooms will prevent the seeds from forming, and if you want to provide food for wildlife, you can leave some of the seeds in the ground.

Splitting plants in spring or taking stem cuttings in summer are also good options if you want to multiply your goldenrod without letting it run rampant in your garden.

Is goldenrod hard to grow?

Goldenrod is a beautiful and easy-to-grow wildflower that adds a splash of color to any garden.

Though the plant is often associated with hay fever, it is actually not responsible for the allergies; instead, it is pollen from wind-pollinated trees and grasses that are to blame.

Goldenrod is very easy to grow from seeds, and can be sown outdoors in spring or fall, or indoors from between 6 and 8 weeks prior to the last date for frost.

The plants prefer full sun but will tolerant partial shade, and they need well-drained soil. Once goldenrod is established, it will spread quickly and bloom profusely from midsummer to early fall.

Deadheading the flowers will prolong the blooming season. Goldenrod makes an excellent cut flower, and its attractively feathery foliage can be used in dried arrangements.

The plant is also a favorite of bees and butterflies. Whether you are looking to add color to your garden or attract wildlife, goldenrod is a great choice.

Does goldenrod grow back every year?

Goldenrod is a beautiful, versatile plant that is easy to care for. Many people are surprised to learn that it is actually a perennial, which means it will come back year after year with minimal care.

Once goldenrod is established in your landscape, it will require very little water and is actually quite drought-resistant.

The only real maintenance required is occasional division of the clumps every four or five years.

With its bright yellow flowers and lush green leaves, goldenrod makes a striking addition to any garden.

So if you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that will brighten up your yard for years to come, consider goldenrod.

Do you cut back goldenrod?

Many gardeners are familiar with the beautiful yellow blossoms of goldenrod, but they may not know that this perennial plant can be easily managed with a little bit of pruning.

Deadheading the flower heads that have been cut off can extend the blooming season until the fall.

Eliminating the flower heads before they seed will stop the self-seeding that is rampant.

When the season is over, or during the last days of winter, trim the plant stalks back to about a couple of inches above the ground.

By taking these simple steps, goldenrod can be kept under control and will continue to provide enjoyment for many seasons to come.

How do you care for goldenrod?

Goldenrods are hardy plants that require very little care once they have been established in the landscape.

They will return every year without needing to be replanted, and they are drought-resistant, so they need very little or no watering.

Clumps of goldenrod will spread over time, so they will eventually need to be divided by digging up the plants and replanting them in different areas. This should be done every four to five years.

Cuttings can also be harvested from existing plants during spring, and then planted into the soil.

With just a little bit of care, goldenrods will thrive in any garden.

Does goldenrod bloom twice a year?

Goldenrods are beautiful, showy flowers that are beloved by bees and other pollinators.

Though most people think of them as summer flowers, they can actually bloom twice a year in some cases.

Goldenrods typically bloom towards the close of summer and the early autumn. However, some varieties of goldenrod may start blooming earlier or bloom for a longer period of time.

For example, California goldenrod typically starts blooming in July and continues to bloom until October.

And the spectacular goldenrod doesn’t usually bloom until August, but it can continue blooming until October.

So if you’re looking for a long-blooming plant that will add color and interest to your garden, goldenrod is a great option to consider.

How fast does goldenrod grow?

Goldenrod is a beautiful addition to any garden, and it is surprisingly easy to grow.

Seeds can be sown in flats or cell packs, and they should be pressed into the soil and covered with a thin layer.

Goldenrod requires sunlight to grow, so it is important to keep the seeds at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Seedlings will emerge in 14-21 days, at which point they can be transplanted into the garden.

Goldenrod should be placed 12-18 inches apart, and it will quickly start to fill in the space.

With a little care, goldenrod will add color and interest to the garden for many years to come.

Should I prune goldenrod?

Goldenrod is a beautiful addition to any garden, with its lush green leaves and bright yellow flowers.

However, if left unchecked, goldenrod can quickly spread and take over an area.

Pruning is one way to keep goldenrod under control, and it can also help to encourage more blooms.

Early in the season, prune the tips of stems to encourage bushier growth.

Deadhead flowers that have already bloomed to prolong the blooming season, and eliminate seed heads before they have a chance to spread.

With a little bit of care, goldenrod can be a gorgeous and low-maintenance addition to any garden.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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