Walk along any suburban street in August and you will find Golden Rod in full flower, a bright yellow foil between the other perennials. In most cases S. canadensis is grown – tall, weedy and frequently badly staked. Don’t judge all Golden Rods from such specimens – these days there are many compact hybrids which have a much more attractive appearance. All Solidagos are easy to grow-their feathery plume-like flower-heads standing above the narrow leaves. Cultivation offers no problems – mulch in spring, provide some form of unobtrusive support for the stems, water in dry weather and cut down the shoots in autumn.

VARIETIES: The modern hybrids (S. hybrida) have been derived from the original species, such as S. canadensis, S. virgaurea and S. brachystachys. The basic details of the hybrids are height 1-7 ft. Spacing 1 -2 ft.

Flowering period: July- September. Choose just what you want -a dwarf (’Golden Thumb’, 1 ft) or a giant (’Golden Wings’. 6ft), a bush with fluffy, Mimosa-like flowers (’Goldenmosa’, 2.5 ft) or an upright plant (’Peter Pan’, 3 ft). Colours vary, ranging from golden yellow (’Lena’, 2.5 ft) to lemon yellow (’Lemore’, 1.5 ft).

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives in sun or light shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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