Fireworks Goldenrod: Light up your late-Summer, early-Fall garden!

Fireworks Goldenrod - The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles
Fireworks Goldenrod in our patio bed, October 2012

The title says it all, so I’ll get straight to the point: if you want an easy way to light up your late-Summer, early-Fall gardens, then plant some Fireworks Goldenrod! Plant it once, enjoy it for years to come. No fuss, no muss! And no matter how much the sun beats down on it, or how much heavy rain falls, Fireworks Goldenrod remains upright – so no mess either!

Fireworks Goldenrod in early Fall - The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles
I love the brilliant yellow color!

There are many different types of Goldenrod, all of them very pretty, that can be found as wildflowers throughout the United States. I think the most beautiful of them all – and the most carefree – is the Fireworks species. Why?

Because Fireworks Goldenrod…

  • …is a perennial, so you only have to plant it once to enjoy the fireworks display each year.
  • …is an upright-growing plant and keeps its shape nicely. I’ve never had to prop the plant up, even after severe rains or winds.
  • …blooms in late Summer, and the yellow flowers shoot out like Fireworks, thus the name!
  • …flowers do not weigh the plant down, stands upright as you can see in the pictures.
  • …is not an aggressive spreader like other species of Goldenrod. New seedlings that pop up around the main plant can easily be removed or transplanted to another area.
  • …blooms when most other Summer plants are finished. The Fireworks species is a nice backdrop for other Fall-blooming flowers like Asters, Mums or Pansies.
  • …can handle Summer heat and humidity well, once established.
  • …has simple needs: it enjoys some organic fertilizer – see my Fertilizer post here to learn what I use – and an occasional drink of water. That’s it.
One-year-old Fireworks Goldenrod plants in the Summertime
Fireworks Goldenrod, one year after planting, June 2010

Late-Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer details

Fireworks Goldenrod is not an evergreen perennial, so once its blooms are finished and the plant leaves have fallen to the ground, you can simply prune away all of the stems down to about an inch from the ground.

Once the Spring weather begins to warm up, you’ll see the leaves forming at the base of the plant. I remove any leftover Winter debris from around the plant, loosen up the soil slightly, and provide fertilizer. (We always put a fresh layer of mulch down on all the garden beds each year too.)

All Summer, the Fireworks Goldenrod remains a nice upright plant, almost like a shrub if you have two or three plants growing together as we do. The green leaves are a nice background for all of the other Summer bloomers, as the plant waits its turn to put on a show.

Fireworks Goldenrod in bloom, The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles
The flower stems arch forward slightly, providing a soft look to these bright yellow blooms!
Fireworks Goldenrod flower stems, The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles
Same plant as above, with some of the flowers arching over the edge of the patio.

Fireworks Goldenrod Plant FAQs

  • Perennial in Zones 4 – 8
  • Likes full sun and average soil
  • Likes some water in the heat of the Summer
  • Upright growth, on average between 3 and 4 feet tall
  • Not an aggressive spreader like other species of Goldenrod
  • Enjoyed by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds
Fireworks Goldenrod in full bloom, The Shed, a blog by Pet Scribbles
Looks just like fireworks, right?
weather garden finial - The Shed - a blog by Pet Scribbles
Because you were curious what this was! We have two of these stone garden finials that depict the weather.
Here you see the wind on the left, and the man in the moon on the right.
Closeup of Fireworks Goldenrod blooms - The Shed blog
Extreme closeup of the Fireworks blooms
Fireworks Goldenrod perennial - The Shed blog
The same heavy rains that did a number on our Zebra Grass (to the right of
the Fireworks Goldenrod) didn’tΒ do any bit of damage whatsoever to the Goldenrod.

One more thing: Goldenrod – in all forms – is often blamed for causing hay fever and allergies. This is not true. The real culprit is Ragweed which blooms at the same time. I have allergies and can put my face right into the middle of this plant and nothing happens. Not that I’d ever do that, as that would be strange…but I’ve been up close and personal with this plant and never had any allergies crop up because of it!

So what do you think? Will you give Fireworks Goldenrod a try? Do you have any Goldenrod species growing wild in your area? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

~Laura

Comments

  1. says

    Gorgeous for fall – that time of year when everything starts to fade! I would have thought the allergies would be flaring up – now that I know they won’t this looks like it could go in my garden!
    Kelly

  2. says

    Now this is a plant that I can get into! I like fireworks and CT being as unpredictable as waking a napping cat well this is the plant for me! My what a lovely patio you have BTW…do you mind if I invite myself over for an afternoon Margarita under the pergola? πŸ™‚

    Amy*

  3. says

    Laura your garden and grounds are enchanting! How do you create all your lovely art/crafts and maintain this amazing outdoor space? You are awesome!