landing pads of deliciousness.
Let's get the objections over with first!
Goldenrods have a bad reputation for two reasons.
*They have been misidentified as the cause of hayfever suffering. They are not responsible for any allergy symptoms you or I are having this fall. The tiny grains of wind blown pollen from ragweed is the culprit. Goldenrod is insect pollinated and the pollen grains are too big to be blown about. Pass that along please!
*They can be aggressive spreaders. Goldenrods are rugged and adaptable. They grow were many wildflowers cannot survive and they can spread quickly where there is no other native plant competition. Those that have been problematic propagate by a rhizomatous/spreading root system that can quickly take over a small garden. If you want to plant them, but fear their nature, look for clump forming cultivated beauties like Solidago 'Solar Cascade', Solidago caesia/Bluestem Goldenrod, Solidago odora, Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'. My favorite clump former for shade is Solidago flexicaulis/Zigzag Goldenrod.
|Next to oak trees, goldenrods may be the best wildflower for hundreds of insects|
Although, it was the bumbles that led me to wildflowers and gardening for wildlife; it is the hundreds of other critters that visit and live in my garden that keep me committed to planting native wildflowers. Even when those flowers are thuggish!
|Ambush bug waiting for unsuspecting critters|
Goldenrods don't scare me! I hope that I've been able to show you that there's much more good than bad in these golden beauties that light up our fall gardens and provide for critters.
PS If you want to provide for fall pollinators you must plant landing pads of deliciousness like Goldenrods and you must never, ever, ever, ever, ever use pesticides in your garden. I mean never!
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.