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March 2010
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How to grow Aruncus dioicus, what are the soil conditions and what care should be taken.

Aruncus is native to deciduous woodlands of eastern and central US as well as western Europe.

Characteristics of Aruncus dioicus or Goatsbeard

– Goatsbeard, Aruncus dioicus, is a North American perennial with feathery plumes of cream colored flowers in late spring or summer.
– It can group up to a height of about seven feet and looks wonderful. – It is a perennial plant.
– The flowers of this plant are tiny in size and are of white color.
– Ornamental sprays of tiny white flowers bloom briefly but spectacularly for two weeks in early summer.
– It also has a deep and strong root system, breaking more than one shovel quite easily.
– Each flower spray contains thousands of tiny blossoms which rise in loose blooms 6 to 10 inches above the foliage.
– The plants are either male or female; one plant does not contain both sexes.
– The male plants supposedly have showier flowers than female ones.
– Female plants produce tiny brown seed capsules, which are poisonous.

Growing Conditions for Aruncus Dioicus

– This plant prefers shade to part shade conditions. I have grown it out in sunshine and it performed well but the blooms didn’t hold on as long as their shaded counterparts.
– The leaves also tended to “burn” a bit in the sun if adequate water wasn’t available.
– This plant blooms in July with 4-5 foot tall plumes.
– The soil should be moist.
– They can be propagated by dividing established root clumps in the spring or fall.
– They tend to grow slowly the first few seasons. The wide-open spaces between young plants can be filled with annuals until the goatsbeard reaches its mature size.

This low maintenance plant needs little care other than watering when the soil becomes dry. Cut back the stems back to just above ground-level in fall and apply a mulch of compost or well-rotted manure around the base of the plant (or in a woodland, allow the tree leaves to remain on the ground to decompose). Goatsbeard has no significant insect or disease problems and is reported to be deer resistant.

1 comment to How to grow Aruncus dioicus, what are the soil conditions and what care should be taken.

  • tammy kozlow

    I have a very old goatsbeard tree growing on the wild on my wooded 10 acres.
    I wood like to graft propogate this tree in some manner.what Is recommended?

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