This is a blog post on growing and harvesting with goldenrod. Goldenrod is a dye plant that produces different variations of yellow color. It is also known by its scientific name Solidago species. The different variations of yellow come with using different types of metal compounds called mordant. For more details about the use of mordant in fabric dyeing here is a link. It is a hardy herbaceous perennial plant that may grow wild like weeds once it establishes. It can grow in most soils. Although it likes a sunny spot it can tolerate some shade. It is also problem-free when it comes to growing maybe some mildew may appear on leaves and stems.
Growing and harvesting Goldenrod
I am growing goldenrod mainly is only for fabric dyeing not for eating. Goldenrod grows either from seed or rhizome. Sow the seeds either in spring or fall. Sow indoors and plant out before the frost comes in fall. For spring sowing plant out after the last sign of frost. I have grown it among me other vegetable plants like amaranth in a sunny spot and there were no issues. It only needs some watery on a dry and hot day. Come autumn the stems will produce some yellow flowers. They are ready to be harvested for the dye pot. I have left the flowers alone. This year the rhizome grew back in abundance. I will have to cut it back and transfer it to the border where there is lots of clay soil.
The plant tops can also produce dye colors. The flowers have dried since winter not it can also spread and grow by themselves. once goldenrod is established so remove them or cut it down so that it doesn’t grow out of hand.