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Gorgeous, Native Goldenrod gets a Bum Wrap

There are about 150 different Goldenrods, most of them native to the prairies, river banks, and mountains of North America. They’ve also spread widely throughout Europe, especially along roadsides and in vacant lots. They’re good for a brief back-of-the-border splash of gold in mid or late summer, though hybrids are now available in short or medium heights and with longer flowering periods.

And guess what – they’re not as allergy-provoking as is commonly believed.

Newer hybrids especially make excellent, long-lasting cut flowers, especially in mixed arrangements. They dry well, too.


  • Typically 5? or more tall, some varieties are more compact.
  • Clumping or spread by rhizomes.
  • Best in full sun.
  • Hardy in Zones 2-8, depending on the variety.
  • Flowers July-October, especially the hybrids.


  • Foliage can be affected by mildew, which is best “treated” by siting the plants at the back of the border where the foliage won’t show.
  • Division every 3-4 years will help maintain plant vigor and blooms, while reducing mildew infestation.
  • Taller variety have better form if they’re cut back by half in early June.
  • They’re quite drought-tolerant.
  • Avoid fertilizers, which produce excessive growth that flops.

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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