How to grow Goldenrod
I find Goldenrod to be a marmite plant. You either love it or hate it and since I love marmite - I love Goldenrod too! It is a magnet for bees and butterflies in late summer and early Autumn plus it looks wonderful in a flower arrangement, either fresh or dried, and even has many medicinal properties. I have two large plants that do have to be kept in check because they can get big, but thankfully there are some smaller, hybrid varieties available now which are much easier to grow and care for. There is a lot of history to the underrated Goldenrod from 12th century Egyptians using it medicinally to the belief that if it grows near your house, you will be in for good fortune and you may even find some buried treasure. Better get digging!
Goldenrod is a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae) and have brightly coloured yellow flower heads, which if you look closely you’ll see they are actually many tiny little flowers that look like mini daisies. The plants will need a spot in full sun and well drained soil. They particularly like sandy soil, which is why they do so well on my allotment. I would suggest dividing them every other year or so and cutting the flowers to use rather than letting them go to seed to stop it popping up everywhere else. As much as I love to leave perennials over winter for interest and insects, this is one that gets cut back straight after flowering. It doesn’t need much care at all and even during the heatwave, it didn’t need watering. Goldenrods are known for growing across the prairies of North America and perfectly able to cope in drought.
How to use Goldenrod
Goldenrod has been used to heal wounds and to make yellow dye. It has many properties and acts as an anti fungal, anti inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic and expectorant. It is known to be beneficial for the urinary tract, cardiovascular system and kidneys. In Germany, where natural treatments are embraced by the medical system, Goldenrod has been officially approved for urinary and bladder inflammations. Both flowers and leaves can be infused in oil and used for wound healing and tired muscles or arthritis pain. Interestingly it doesn’t have airborne pollen so won’t cause allergies yet it often grows near ragweed which may well make you sneeze. Goldenrod is known to ease the allergies its neighbouring plants are responsible for.
Find out how to make Goldenrod oil in my wellbeing column in the October issue of Grow Your Own Magazine.