A small group of herbaceous perennials that provide impressive drifts of late summer/autumn colour. A useful late flowering perennial, particularly well suited to dry, sandy conditions. Loved by pollinating insects.
Family: Asteraceae (daisy family)
Botanical Name: Solidago
Common Names: Golden rod
Foliage: Deciduous, narrow green leaves on erect stems.
Flowers: Long stems topped with racemes/sprays of small yellow flowers.
Flowering Period: Late-summer to early autumn.
Soil: Well-drained, moderately fertile to poor soil (sand, light clay, loam). Acid or neutral pH. Avoid waterlogged conditions.
Conditions: Full sun or light shade. Plant in a west, south or east facing aspect.
Habit: Bushy, clump forming.
Type: Herbaceous perennial.
Origin: North America.
Hardiness: Hardy in all of the UK.
Fuss-free and easy to grow, Solidago provides a spectacular burst of colour at the very end of summer. It thrives well in poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soils. Preferably sandy. Best in full sun. However, taller varieties will tollerate light shade.
Golden rod copes well with most situations and is reasonably drought tolerant once established. Although, some species may become invasive in small gardens, especially those prone to prolific self seeding.
Taller cultivars may need staking where grown on exposed sites.
Deadhead to prevent self-seeding. Cut down faded stems in later winter.
Generally pest and disease free. Can be affected by powdery mildews if conditions are too dry in late summer.
Divide mature clumps in autumn or spring, replanting only the healthy outer sections.
Solidago x hybrida is the common garden form. Bushy plants with erect stems topped with graceful sprays of tiny, bright yellow flowers. Height from 1 to 3ft (30-90cm), spread to 18in (45cm). Good cultivars include 'Goldenmosa', up to 2ft high, with yellow fluffy conical panicles in August, 'Golden Thumb' more compact and bushy (to 1ft (30cm) with gold flowers in August-September, and 'Lemore' up to 2ft high, with primrose yellow flowers in September.
Solidago Goldkind is a compact form with long golden flower spikes on arching stems. Good resistance to rust and mildew. Available at Gardening Express.
Solidago 'Little Lemon' is
a compact bushy form that bears drifts of lemon blooms.
Height to 18in (45cm), spread to 2ft (60cm). Available
Meuwen and Thompson & Morgan.