Goldenrod

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Monday, September 17, 2018 - 2:00am

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Many flowering plants are only one or two steps out of the ditch, and goldenrod is no exception today on Southern Gardening

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Most folks can recognize goldenrod growing wild. Usually we see the explosion of golden color late in the summer before temperatures start to decrease in the fall. Typically, we Canada goldenrods— Solidago Canadensis. The tall plants reaching up to four feet. But there’s been a lot of evaluation and selection for more team landscape varieties. The mid-size varieties like prairie goldenrod—Solidago Missourinsas— can be used in the middle of the shrub order, while smallest are suitable for the front row.

The flowers of goldenrod flow and arch from the top of the plans. Perhaps the selection having the most outstanding flowering habit is fireworks. The flower clusters radiate out in all directions and resemble yellow sparks streaming from exploding fireworks.

Goldenrod varieties tend to be unbranched and can look a bit top-heavy especially when flowering. You can encourage a denser and bushier plant by pruning halfway back in the late spring. Goldenrod makes great cut flowers for the vase and dry well in use for dry arrangements. And in case you have allergies, goldenrod does not cause hay fever. Goldenrod is pollinated by insects and does not produce much pollen. The real culprit is ragweed. Ragweed is pollinated and produces—as Carl Sagan would say—billions of billions of pollen grains. Both flower at the same time, but goldenrod, with its showy flowers, gets the blame.

I am horticulturist Gary Bachman with Southern Gardening.

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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