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How to Grow Goldenrod — Solidago

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Solidago, commonly called goldenrod, produces branching heads of golden yellow blooms from mid-to-late summer. Solidago is an upright, clump-forming perennial with slender, pointed green leaves. The plant may need staking.

Solidago is a good choice for color in the late summer border or wild garden. Solidago is a good cut flower. Plant Solidago where it will not overwhelm less vigorous plants.

Solidago is a genus of about 100 species of woody-based perennials. They have small, elongated flowerheads mostly borne in one-sided, upward-facing racemes or spike-like panicles.

Goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea
Goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea

Get to know Solidago

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Growing Zones and range: Zones 4-8
  • Hardiness: Hardy to -30°F (-18°C)
  • Height and width: 12 to 36 inches (30-91cm) tall; 12 to 20 inches (30-50cm) wide, depending on the variety
  • Foliage: Narrowly elliptic to lance-shaped entire or toothed mid green-leaves
  • Flowers: Elongated sprays of flowers borne in one-sided, upward-facing racemes
  • Flower color: Bright yellow flowers
  • Bloom time: Late summer and fall
  • Uses: Mixed borders, meadow and cottage gardens, cutting garden
  • Common name: Goldenrod
  • Botanical name: Solidago hybrids
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Origin: North America

Where to plant Solidago

  • Plant Solidago in full sun.
  • Solidago grows in average to poor soil that is well-drained.

Solidago uses and companions

  • Use Solidago in a late-summer border or wild garden.
  • Solidago are good cut flowers.
  • Good garden companions for Solidago include Aster, Boltonia asteroides, Chrysanthemum, Echinancea purperuea, Gaillardia grandiflora, Helenium, Helianthus, ornamental grasses.
Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis
Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis

When to plant Solidago

  • Set Solidago in the garden in spring.
  • Sow seed in spring in the garden.
  • Divide Solidago in spring or autumn.

Planting and spacing Solidago

  • Space Solidago 12 to 20 inches (30-50cm) apart.

How to water and feed Solidago

  • Solidago needs moderate moisture; keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Solidago does not need to be fertilizing. Fertilizing can result in plat growing leggy.

Solidago care

  • Mulch around Solidago to conserve soil moisture.
  • Trim off spent flowers to encourage new blooms.
  • Solidago is usually pest and disease-free.

Solidago pests and diseases

  • Solidago is susceptible to spot anthracnose, powdery mildew, rust, and fungal spots.
Goldenrod flower or Solidago canadensis
Goldenrod flower or Solidago canadensis

Solidago propagation

  • Solidago seeds germinate in 14 to 21 days at 70°F (21°C) .
  • Divide plant in mid-autumn or early spring.

Solidago varieties to grow

  • Solidago rugosa: Grows to 5 feet (1.5m) tall with flowers on widely branching arching stems. Cultivars include ‘Fireworks’ has pure yellow flowers and red-tinged foliage; ‘Golden Baby’ is a compact and disease resistant cultivar that grows 18 to 24 inches (45-61cm) tall; ‘Peter Pan’ has bright yellow flowers and grows 2 to 3 feet (.6-1m) tall.
  • S. sphacelata ‘Golden Fleece’: grows to 24 inches (61cm) tall; low foliage mound; good ground cover.
  • S. virgaurea: Grows to 3 feet (1m) tall with flower clusters on a spike. Cultivars include ‘Cloth of Gold’, ‘Strahlenkrone’, and ‘Goldenmosa.’
  • Solidaster luteus: Hybrid of goldenrod and a perennial aster; grows to 2 feet (.6m) tall; resembles goldenrod but has larger, softer yellow flowers like small asters.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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