Growing goatsbeard can be one of those marvellous plants for the pond side that takes your breath away when it is in full bloom.
And it can take your breath away when you try to move this monstrous plant with the deep root system.
Here are the growing details you want to know about to grow this plant.
- Hardiness rating should be easily down into USDA zone 3 with few difficulties.
- Flowering – mid-summer with tall white astilbe-like blooms
- Height: 3-4 feet tall
- Width: 4-5 feet wide
It is difficult to separate sunshine levels from water needs. This plant will grow almost anywhere there is adequate moisture with full or minimal sun. I’ve grown it in the full sun and part shade and seen it growing in deep shade in public gardens.
The trick to growing it – and this is where the pond side area with its constant moisture is excellent – is to give it adequate moisture. Don’t even pretend to grow it in full sunshine without constantly damp soils. Does best in shady, damp soils
Other Growing Conditions
There’s the trick with this plant – get those water levels OK and it will thrive darn near anywhere in your garden.
There are few other restrictions to success with this plant.
The one thing you should know is that while Goatsbeard resembles an astilbe in flower, it is much taller and bigger than an astilbe. It does however take a few years for the plant to develop this size. From a small nursery container, expect the plant to take 3 years to produce flowers that reach 3-4 feet tall.
Propagation and Hardiness
Propagation by division easiest with a stout shovel and strong back (or strong shovel and stout back) early in the spring or in the mid-fall. Frankly, it’s a #$I@(* to divide and it’s best not to try. Easier to buy another plant. Take an axe or chainsaw to it is my best advice.
Take an eye or two and some root and the plant will be fine. It does not resent moving although with the big strong roots, it may resist moving. 🙂
Seeds germinate irregularly – division is far better so do start with plants if possible.
Plants To Watch For
Aruncus doicus is the main tall species you’ll see in garden centers.
Aruncus aethusfiolius is a much shorter version reaching 12-inches
This is an excellent white blooming (no other colors) plant for the garden and it will survive in almost any condition of sun and shade, or soil type as long as you don’t try to grow it too dry.