Solidago or Goldenrod lights up your summer borders with elegant sprays of tiny, bright gold or lemon yellow blooms. It has a sweet, herb-like fragrance and is brilliant as a filler for your cut flower arrangements. Our eco-friendly grown perennials are naturally pest-free and are a lovely way to boost the biodiversity of a wildlife garden – they’re deer-resistant, and the abundant nectar is a magnet to bees, wasps, butterflies and other pollinators. Later in the season, birds appreciate the seed heads.

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The Solidago genus comprises around 120 species of flowering plants in the Asteraceae family. This woody-stemmed herbaceous perennial is native to the UK, Europe, and South and North America, where it grows in prairies, meadows, swamps and woodlands. Tall, upright stems with narrow, pointed leaves and panicles or sprays of yellow flowers from July to the first frosts. It readily forms clumps, and some cultivars can be invasive.

Cultivation of Solidago

Solidago is straightforward to grow and is relatively drought-tolerant. It enjoys a well-drained, sunny location and thrives in clay and sandy soils. It grows up to 1.2 metres tall, so it’s ideal for the middle or back of a border. Water in hot weather to help prevent powdery mildew. Plant Solidago in cottage gardens, informal flower beds, meadow plantings, and wildlife gardens. It combines beautifully with blue and purple asters, dahlias and ageratum.

Solidago propagates naturally by the spreading of underground rhizomes and by wind-blown seeds. It readily forms large clumps, so it’s best to divide plants in spring every two or three years to reinvigorate them and control their spread. Cut back stems to the ground after flowering to prevent self-seeding. Removing flowers as they fade will encourage more blooms – but leave some for the birds at the end of the season.

Uses of Solidago

The name Solidago derives from the Latin word for “to make whole” and refers to the plant’s medicinal properties. Native Americans used Solidago as a natural medicine. Goldenrod has also been used as a beverage – after the Boston Tea Party, Americans favoured a drink known as liberty tea which they brewed from dried Goldenrod flowers.