How To Grow & Care For Goldenrod


Goldenrod, a bright and lively perennial, is known for its stunning yellow flowers that bloom in late summer. Often seen in meadows, fields, and roadsides, it’s a symbol of resilience, as it grows freely in a variety of conditions. Goldenrod is often unfairly blamed for hay fever due to its conspicuous bloom at the same time as wind-pollinated ragweed, but this plant is insect-pollinated and does not contribute to allergies.

Its scientific name, Solidago, comes from the Latin word ‘solidare,’ which means ‘to make whole’ or ‘to strengthen,’ alluding to its historical use in herbal medicine. Many species of goldenrod exist, and they have been used for various ailments, from kidney stones to inflammation.

Apart from its medicinal properties, goldenrod is a valuable addition to gardens. Its bright yellow blooms attract pollinators, making it an essential plant for those looking to support local bee, butterfly, and bird populations.

Common NamesGoldenrod
Botanical NameSolidago
Plant TypePerennial
Mature Size2-5 feet tall
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeWell-draining soil, tolerates clay
Hardiness Zones3-9
Native AreaNorth America

Goldenrod Care

Goldenrod is a low-maintenance plant, thriving in various soil conditions and requiring minimal care once established. It grows naturally in wild areas, proving its resilience and adaptability.

Watering, occasional pruning, and planting in a location that meets its sunlight and soil requirements are typically all that’s needed to keep this beautiful perennial happy and healthy. It’s also deer-resistant, which can be a significant benefit in some areas.

Light Requirement for Goldenrod

Goldenrod prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. A minimum of six hours of direct sunlight will ensure healthy growth and abundant blooming. Less sun can lead to leggy plants and fewer flowers.

Soil Requirements for Goldenrod

Goldenrod grows best in well-draining soil but is tolerant of various soil types, including clay. It prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil pH. While it can thrive in poor soil, incorporating organic matter at planting time can boost growth.

Water Requirements for Goldenrod

Goldenrod is drought-tolerant once established, needing only occasional watering. Regular watering is recommended during the first growing season to establish a deep and extensive root system. Overwatering should be avoided, as it can lead to root rot.

Temperature and Humidity

Goldenrod is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. It thrives in zones 3-9 and does not have specific humidity requirements. Its adaptability makes it suitable for various climates.


Goldenrod generally doesn’t require fertilizer. If desired, a light application of a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring can promote growth, but it’s usually unnecessary.

Pruning Goldenrod

Pruning goldenrod can help maintain its shape and promote bushier growth. Deadheading spent flowers will encourage further blooming. Cutting back the entire plant in late fall or early spring can also be beneficial.

Propagating Goldenrod

Goldenrod can be propagated by division, root cuttings, or seed. Divide the plants in the spring or fall, or take root cuttings during the dormant season.

How To Grow Goldenrod From Seed

Growing goldenrod from seed is straightforward. Plant the seeds in well-draining soil in full sun. Keep the soil moist until germination, which usually occurs within two to three weeks.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Aphids can be controlled by natural predators or insecticidal soap.

Powdery Mildew

Good airflow and avoiding overhead watering can prevent this disease.

Common Problems With Goldenrod

Spindly Growth

Spindly growth can result from inadequate sunlight. Move the plant to a sunnier location if possible.


Goldenrod spreads through rhizomes, which can lead to overcrowding. Regular division can manage this issue.

Pro Tips

  1. Plant goldenrod with other native plants to create a supportive ecosystem for pollinators.
  2. Be mindful of its spreading nature and consider planting in a controlled area or using barriers.
  3. Goldenrod pairs well with other late-season bloomers like asters.
  4. Consider planting different species of goldenrod to extend the blooming season.