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Goatsbeard is a hardy perennial bearing fern-like foliage plant, that has feathery plumes of cream-white flowers that appear in summer. It’s a beautiful flower that compliments the background in colorful springs and summer blossoms.

Goatsbeard is also referred to as Aruncus Dioicus. The name ‘Aruncus’ comes from Greek meaning goat’s beard, obviously because of its appearance even though the name does not describe its beauty.

It is native to the temperate zones of Europe, North America, and Asia. They are easy to grow and don’t need much attention. This friendly native flower deserves a spot in your garden and I am here to help you know about it and how to grow and care for it. 

Read on below to learn more about properly caring for this gorgeous fern-like plant without spectacular white flowers.

How To Care for Goatsbeard

A 2 feet tall and several feet wide green leafy bush with tall and slender white flowers.
SyrioCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Goatsbeard grows in moist, fertile soil in full or partial shade. However, this species can tolerate drier conditions, even in full sun. 

If you want to minimize its natural propagation, deadhead its small white flowers to cut down on unwanted seedlings.

Supplies Needed

  • Some shade
  • Humus soil
  • Plenty of Moisture 
  • Pruning shears

Choose the Right Location

The first step in learning to properly care for the Goatsbeard is choosing the right spot to plant/place it. This will determine its growth rate and will make it easier to maintain (if planted in a good place). 

They will grow best in partial shade, but if it’s a cold place it will still thrive even in a sunny location. Look for a wet spot in your yard or if you are thinking of creating a rainforest in your garden then it’s perfect. Goatsbeard plants love moist soil. 

They are showy and bushy plants and will need a nice spot to showcase their beauty and fill out their spaces in the garden. If you have a small space consider growing the dwarf goatsbeard.  

Use Well-Drained Soil

You’ll need rich and well-drained loam soil that is organically rich, with a pH of between slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. 

You can amend the soil with organic matter. Compost makes also ideal soil amendments for growing a Goatsbeard .

Growing from Seeds

You can easily grow Goatsbeard from seeds. Since the Goatsbeard’s flower is a dioecious plant meaning it has distinct male and female plants, you’ll need both to gain fertile seeds. 

Sadly many gardeners ignore this fact and do not identify them as either male or female. The easiest way to differentiate them is by their flowers. Male flowers have more noticeable bushes than female flowers.

Start by collecting seeds as early as spring. Once the seeds are harvested, they should be directly sown in the garden immediately while they are still fresh.

The seeds need proper light exposure to germinate and take about three weeks to sprout. 

Growing From Division or Rhizomes

The most effective way to grow a Goatsbeard plant is by getting underground rhizomes and planting them in well-watered and quick-draining soil. Or, you can opt for buying pre-started plants from the local farmers’ market.

Watering and Feeding

If Goatsbeard is planted in a wet area, maybe a pond, or along a stream of water you’ll not need to worry about watering. But if the area is dry or under full sun, you’ll need your Goatsbeard well-watered avoiding soggy soil, which can cause the roots to rot.

They don’t need to be fertilized.

Maintenance 

These flowers require little to no maintenance at all, so long as you ensure enough water and moderate sun exposure. Add mulch to the plant in summer to retain moisture.

Remove any deteriorating leaves and flowers to improve their look. They are perennials that like temperate conditions and will not do well in hot climates or humid weather.

If you plant them on the ground, try applying some of these easy organic pest control methods to keep them as healthy and flourishing as possible.

Pro Tips for Goatsbeard Care

A leafy plant with green leaves, woody stem, and skinny white Goatsbeard flowers.
Robert Flogaus-FaustCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Choose the Best Plant

Male Goatsbeard plants are for larger gardens because they have a more striking effect than the gentle female flower which are smaller and suit less crowded gardens, or balconies.

Trim the Goatsbeard in the Fall

Trimming a Goatsbeard plant improves its look and makes it healthy. After it’s done blooming cut and trim to tidy it up.

You can do this by cutting back the stem and foliage about three inches from the stem. The plant will be dormant in winter and will start growing new fresh foliage in spring.  

Choose Good Companion Plants

They aren’t particularly colorful, which makes them a good statement piece combined with other colorful plants like Astilbe, Monkshood, and Hosta. 

Another good reason is that they don’t have pest problems. They can be used as hedges or borders to soften the transition at the edges of any landscaped area or garden.

In our yard, we plant them with other flowers with shoots that grow over two feet tall.

FAQs About Caring for Goatsbeard

Goatsbeard hanging from a treebranch.
MONGOCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How long does the Goatsbeard plant bloom?

The Goatsbeard’s flowers don’t have a long blooming period. They may bloom for about 2 weeks and be done for the season. However, ome last just for about 10 days. They bloom from June to July. But it might depend on the growing zone.

Can Goatsbeard flowers be grown indoors?

If you have a nice cool balcony that is not directly from the sun, that is where Goatsbeard thrives the most. They need a lot of room to grow and will also require a few years to grow before they reach their full potential to flower. 

Can the Goatsbeard plant be used as a cut flower? 

They are a bit small to make the perfect cut flowers, but when in season these tiny feathery flowers add some taste to any bouquet. You can also dry them and make wonderful dry flowers.

What distinctive details does the Goatsbeard plant have?

  • Height(inches): 48 to 60
  • Plant Spread(inches): 48 to 72 Inches
  • Time of Bloom: Early to Mid-summer
  • Flower Details: White
  • Leaf Foliage: Green

Featured Image Credit: SyrioCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Suggested Reading: HOW TO CARE FOR WIDOW’S THRILL: CARE GUIDE

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