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Goldenrod is a perennial that is native to North America. The domesticated plants are hardy in growing zones 4 through 9. The wildflowers have a wider range and are hardy from growing zone 2 in Canada to zone 8 in the southern US. They both prefer full-sun but will tolerate some shade. Both the wild and domesticated plants are drought tolerant, making them excellent candidates for xeriscapes. In your garden, they require well-drained soil. The new cultivars range in height from 1 to 3 feet depending on the variety. The wildflowers are taller and range in height from 4 to 5 feet. Regardless of height, all bloom in the fall. The flowers attract both beneficial insects and butterflies. After the plants die back in the fall, you should cut them down to the ground and remove the dead plant material from your garden to prevent insects and disease from overwintering in the debris.
Solidago, or Goldenrod, is a genus of herbaceous perennials in the aster family with up to 120 species and numerous cultivars. Goldenrod is easy to grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. It is a very forgiving plant and tolerates poor, dry soils, clay, and drought. It displays small, bright yellow flowers in dense clusters on top of tall stems from July through September and additional blooming is encouraged if you deadhead spent flower clusters. The plant naturalizes quickly in the garden and it may be advisable to divide it every two or three years to control spread.Plant ‘Fireworks’ goldenrod in full sun or partial shade in average garden soil. it prefers well-drained soils, it does adapt well to clay soils. It does best with regular moisture but is somewhat drought tolerant once established. Goldenrods have few if any pest or disease problems, although spider mites and lacebugs can be a problem on some types. It is not favored by deer. Divide mature clumps in early spring or take stem cuttings in June to propagate.
Gardeners often skip goldenrod because its bloom coincides with that of ragweed (Ambrosia, also in the aster family). Goldenrod is incorrectly blamed for hay fever, although its pollen is not wind-borne. The spreading reputation of another species, Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), also causes hesitation. “It’s a plant with loads of wildlife value, a pioneer species of old fields and open spaces, but often a bad choice for smaller gardens,” said Mr. Lorimer, who recommended goldenrods that are more clump-forming — or at least less rampant. This goldenrod emerges in late spring from the very slowly spreading rhizomes to produce numerous stalks covered with narrow, dark-green leaves. Although it may lean to one side, the rigid stems rarely need staking to keep it from falling over. By midsummer the plants have grown to their ultimate height but it isn’t until late summer that the branching stems begin to radiate out and explode into color in September. (Source: hort.extension.wisc.edu)