Rhodiola: rules for planting and care in open ground

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Rhodiola: rules for planting and care in open ground
Rhodiola: rules for planting and care in open ground

Description of the Rhodiola plant, agricultural techniques for planting and care in a personal plot, recommendations for reproduction, how to deal with diseases and pests, interesting notes, species.

Rhodiola belongs to the Crassulaceae family, containing about 39 genera. All such plants are dicotyledonous, that is, a pair of oppositely placed cotyledons is present in the embryo. The genus of Rhodiola itself has united about 90 varieties. Basically, the native area of ​​growth of these representatives of the flora falls on the high-altitude and cold zones located in the northern hemisphere. 55 of the species are found in China, while 16 from this list are endemic to these lands, that is, they are not found anywhere else in the world in natural conditions.

Family name Crassy
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Rhodiola breeds Seed or vegetatively (by dividing the root)
Open ground transplant terms Delenki are planted in autumn, seedlings in June
Landing rules There should be 15 cm between seedlings, a row spacing of at least 45 cm.When planting the divisions - 20x45 cm
Priming Lightweight, sandy
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral)
Illumination level A sunny place, sheltered from the wind
Humidity level Watering during dry seasons
Special care rules Mandatory fertilizers and mulching for the winter
Height options Within 10-40 cm
Flowering period June July
Type of inflorescences or flowers Thyroid, racemose or capitate-corymbose
Rhodiola flower color Yellow or greenish yellow, cream, whitish pink or red
Fruit type Direct flyers
Fruit color Green and dark brown when ripe
The timing of fruit ripening July August
Decorative period Spring-summer
Application in landscape design As a medicinal plant, in rock gardens and rockeries, in flower beds
USDA zone 3–7

The name of the genus was given thanks to the words in Greek "rhodia" or "rhodon", which translates as "rose" and "pink", or if you take a literal translation - "little rose". This is due to the fact that people have noticed that when the root of this representative of the green world is incised, an aroma resembling the smell of a rose spreads. This term was used by Carl Linnaeus (1741–1783) by the taxonomist of flora, when describing the plant in 1755. However, if we talk about the very first mention of Rhodiola, then it belongs to the ancient Greek physician Dioscorides, who provided a description in the 1st century BC.

In the Russian language, the name "golden root" was fixed, since the young rhizome has a color similar to a shade of dull gold, characterized by a mother-of-pearl sheen. As the rhizome ages, this color changes to brownish-bronze. If you cut off the top skin, the inside is lemon yellow.


In Russian, many people incorrectly call Rhodiola, stressing the wrong (third) syllable - it is correct when the sound emphasis falls on the letter "and".

All types of Rhodiola are perennials with a powerful woody rhizome. It is distinguished by good branching and is a multi-headed rod. The stems of the plant are unbranched, grow erect, or may be slightly curved. The bush is composed of numerous shoots, but sometimes their number is small (1-3 pieces), it happens that some of last year's stems remain. Plant height ranges from 10–40 cm.

The leaf plates on the stems grow crowded, being pressed against them in the next order. The leaves of Rhodiola are flat, taking an almost cylindrical shape. It happens that the foliage is reduced (greatly reduced). The length then it can be 1 cm. The leaves are in the form of a triangle or they grow semicircular. The color of the deciduous mass is brown or brownish, the leaves themselves are membranous.

When flowering, which occurs in June-July, inflorescences are formed that take corymbose, racemose or capitate-corymbose outlines. The corolla of flowers can be four- or five-membered, in rare cases it has six petals. Basically, the flowers of Rhodiola are dioecious (only female or male colors on the plant), in rare cases they are bisexual. The calyx of the flower remaining after flowering. The color of the corolla takes on a yellow or greenish-yellow hue, but it happens that the petals have a cream, whitish-pink or red color scheme.

The fruit of rhodiola is a straight leaflet. She may or may not have a spout. The fruits are filled with a large number of small seeds. Ripening occurs in the period July-August.

The plant does not differ in pretentiousness in care and, following simple recommendations, you can grow this medicinal representative of the flora in the garden. Basically, the variety of Rhodiola rosea is used in gardens and all the rules that are indicated below are valid for both her and other species.

Rhodiola - planting and caring for a personal plot

Rhodiola blooms
  1. Landing place It is preferable to pick up the "golden root" in a well-lit area, while it is recommended that protection from wind and draft is provided.
  2. Soil for rhodiola it is recommended to select light and preferably sandy. However, if quality drainage and good care are provided, then the plant will feel comfortable in a waterlogged garden substrate. After July 20, the site selected for planting is dug to a depth of approximately 30 cm. In this case, all weeds must be removed from the soil and its surface must be leveled. After that, fertilizers are applied, and then digging is required again. The site should be lightly tamped and marked using a cord. When the soil in the area is dense, it is recommended to dig it up again, removing 20 cm of the top layer. Then a layer of brick chips or river sand (about 4–5 cm) is poured onto the garden bed where it is planned to grow rhodiola and the removed part of the substrate is returned. With increased soil acidity, it is required to bring it to normal (pH 6, 5-7). To do this, dolomite flour or slaked lime is mixed into the soil at the rate of 450 grams per 1 m2. Some gardeners add coniferous litter to the soil.
  3. Rhodiola planting. This time directly depends on what will be planted on the prepared bed in the garden. For seedlings, the beginning of summer is preferable; in late August or early autumn, you can place the delenki in the flower garden. The planting scheme is described in the section "Recommendations for the reproduction of Rhodiola". In any case, it will be necessary to provide the seedlings with shading for the first time, as well as care (watering and weeding). In the first year after transplanting, the growth rate of seedlings will be very slow, and the height of their stems will be within 6–12 cm. Under natural conditions, the first flowering of the “golden root” will begin only when the plants reach 12–20 years of age, and often even later … But if the care for garden cultivation is correct, then you can see the flowers after three years. When planting Rhodiola, an indent between the holes of up to half a meter is maintained, and with a row spacing of 70 cm. The seedling in the hole is located so that the renewal buds are on the same level with the ground. After planting, watering is carried out and mulching is performed a day later.
  4. Watering when growing rhodiola, it is performed in May-July, when the weather is hot and dry.It is important not to allow the soil to flood, which can lead to rotting of the root system.
  5. General advice on care. As the bush grows, the rhizome begins to protrude above the surface of the soil, then it will be necessary to regularly add the substrate. You should also constantly weed the bushes of Rhodiola from weeds. In order for the wintering to be successful, it is necessary to perform in the fall, after the aerial part has dried out, the rhizomes are mulched with peat chips or humus.
  6. Fertilizers when growing, rhodiola is essential to maintain growth. To do this, you need to use 2 buckets of well-rotted manure or compost per 1m2. To it are mixed: ammonium nitrate, potassium salt (or sylvinite), lime and granular superphosphate, taken in a ratio of 15: 20: 30: 23, all in grams. With further care, it is also necessary not to forget about feeding. For this, gardeners use slurry. This solution is allowed to replay for 5 days and then diluted 1: 4 with water. Watering is carried out on moist soil in the aisles. Since the seedlings are gaining growth rather slowly, feeding is carried out only when the length of the leaves reaches 5 cm.
  7. Rhodiola harvesting carried out both seeds and rhizomes. The plant will be filled with healing power after planting only after 5–6 years. Then you can collect seeds. If the reproduction was carried out by dividing the rhizomes, then it will be possible to dig them up for use when 3 years have passed. The rhizomes of the "golden root" are dug out only after the flowering process is over (in summer). They are removed from the ground, washed in running water and then dried, after cutting into pieces. The finished material acquires a beautiful pink hue and tinctures can be prepared on its basis, usually with alcohol.
  8. The use of rhodiola in landscape design. Although the plant is medicinal and is often grown in a medicinal garden, it has also found application in flower beds. Nice "golden root" will look in rock gardens, rockeries or flower beds. However, with the arrival of July-August, all the beauty of this representative of the flora will disappear, as it will begin to wither away. It is best, in this case, to place nearby such plants that have a green mass until frost and the void formed from rhodiola will be masked.


Plants should act as neighbors, which, like Rhodiola, do not need too moist soil, otherwise the roots of the latter will gradually rot when watering other flowers.

Bernard and fern, St. John's wort, thyme and cinquefoil, edelweiss and periwinkle, echinacea and dimorphotea, alissum and armeria, that is, plants that look great among stones, will be a good combination.

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Recommendations for breeding Rhodiola

Rhodiola in soil

In order to obtain new bushes of the "golden root", both seed and vegetative methods should be used. The latter is a division of the rhizome.

Reproduction of Rhodiola by sowing seeds

This method will allow not only to obtain useful rhizomes during cultivation in the future, but also to have seed. It is in the process of such cultivation that both male and female plants will appear, and since this representative of the flora is dioecious, the flowers will not be pollinated without such a pair. It will be possible to collect seeds from female plants later, after 2-3 years from the moment of sowing. Seed material is buried in the ground in the autumn or spring. You can sow directly to the garden or grow seedlings.

If sowing is carried out in the fall, then the seeds are simply spread over the soil surface, lightly powdered with the same substrate and covered with agrofibre (lutrasil or spunbond is suitable). When growing seedlings, the planting box is filled with a nutritious soil mixture consisting of steamed sod substrate, deoxidized peat and sand.Seeds are scattered over the surface without deepening. Then the container is immersed in the soil to the very sides and so left for the winter. When spring comes, the seedling box is taken out and placed in a place that will be well warmed up by the sun's rays. It is deepened there again.

When sowing Rhodiola seeds in the spring, it is necessary to perform pre-planting preparation and stratification:

  • keep the seed in a stimulant solution (for example, Epine) for a day;
  • the seeds are placed in wet sawdust and placed on the lower shelf of the refrigerator, where the material will stay for 1–1.5 months. The temperature should not go beyond -5 degrees;
  • a soil mixture of peat and sand (parts of equal volume) is poured into the seedling box and rhodiola seeds are sown over the surface of the soil, which are pre-mixed with river sand.

After sowing, the container is covered with a film or a piece of glass. When leaving, the cover is periodically removed to remove condensation. When the first seedlings appear, the film (glass) is removed so that there is no threat of the appearance of a "black leg" (fungal disease from high humidity). Weak shoots should be removed immediately, and the plants should be provided with ventilation and good lighting.

As soon as the seedlings of Rhodiola reach 3 months, they are planted in a prepared bed or in a flower garden. When transplanting, the earthen lump surrounding the root system does not destroy the plants; they use the so-called transshipment method. Planting is carried out by seedlings at a distance of 15 cm from each other with a row spacing of 45 cm. If the site is wet, it is recommended to plant on "ridges" from the soil, but at the same time keeping a distance of 7-10 cm between the holes. After transplanting, such seedlings are recommended to be shaded, watering is moderate.

Reproduction of Rhodiola by parts of the rhizome

This method will give the opportunity to get the result twice as fast. It also happens that the summer is too hot and dry, then the germination rate of seeds decreases, and if seedlings appear, they are distinguished by puny and weak characteristics. It is better to buy seedlings in the autumn, and if there are already such bushes on the site, then the division is performed after the entire above-ground part has died out (August-September) - it is at this time that the underground component grows. The roots are cut with a well-sharpened knife so that each of the divisions has no less than a pair of renewal buds. All places of cuts on Rhodiola cuttings are carefully processed with crushed charcoal and left to dry. The duration of the drying process ends when the cuttings have dried up a little. Landing is then carried out to a depth of no more than 1.5 cm.

When planting Rhodiola cuttings, the scheme should be maintained - 20x45 cm, while the depth of the embedding should be no more than 7-10 cm. Renewal buds should be covered with a layer of soil of 2-3 cm. Over the next two years of cultivation, the root part can give an increase of 80– 230 grams.

How to deal with diseases and pests in the garden cultivation of Rhodiola?

Rhodiola grows

The plant is resistant to both diseases inherent in many garden flora representatives and to pests. However, weevils (badan and sedum) can deliver some troubles. In the first case, the insect appears on the site along with the root system of Rhodiola, which previously grew in natural conditions. The pest infects the rhizome, which is the most valuable part and is used for medicinal purposes. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out a thorough examination when buying seedlings, but if the larvae of the pest were found after bringing home, then such roots should be soaked for 10 minutes in a saline solution or use potassium permanganate, then the soaking time will be 15 minutes.

Sedium weevil damages parts of plants that are above the ground. The presence of a pest can be determined by the presence of small holes on the leaf plates of rhodiola, and the subsequent yellowing of the foliage.Weevil larvae also spoil the stems, gnawing holes in them. For the fight, it is recommended to shake off insects on the material, which is covered with an adhesive substance. These manipulations are carried out both in the spring and with the arrival of autumn.

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Interesting notes about Rhodiola

Flowering rhodiola

Mainly for medicinal purposes, it is customary to use a variety of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodiola rosea). This representative of the flora is on the same level with such a famous medicinal plant as ginseng. In Altai and Siberia, healers referred to it as "Siberian ginseng". They both act as adaptogens, that is, they help to increase the body's resistance to any negative environmental influences. They are used for medical purposes, usually both the part growing above the soil surface and the rhizome.

All aerial parts of the "golden root" are used in folk medicine for the preparation of decoctions or lotions, which are necessary for the treatment of trachoma (an infectious disease affecting the eyes). Rhizomes of Rhodiola have invariably enjoyed success with healers in the treatment of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular or skin diseases. With the help of such drugs, it was possible to get rid of pulmonary tuberculosis, accelerate bone healing in fractures and eliminate many other diseases.

In official medicine, there is the use of an alcohol-based extract of Rhodiola rosea. This drug has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system, is prescribed for conditions caused by neurasthenia or asthenia, with severe fatigue and decreased performance. Recommended for use with problems associated with vegetative-vascular dystonia, can have a beneficial effect on the body during rehabilitation after infectious or somatic diseases, as well as with functional problems in the work of the nervous system.

The procurement of raw materials for medicines should be dealt with until the flowering period has ended and the fruits of rhodiola have not fully ripened. The rhizome must be dug out of the ground, cleaned of soil residues and rinsed thoroughly under running water. Then an inspection is carried out, and all the rotten parts are removed, after which the root itself is cut into pieces. Drying should be carried out at a temperature of 50-60 degrees. After the roots are dried (their fragility will be a sign), then such raw materials can be stored in a dark place, folded in paper bags.

Also, parts of rhodiola can be added to teas, which will help:

  • stimulation of mental activity;
  • improving memory and increasing attention;
  • promote the activation of liver functions;
  • normalize sleep and blood pressure, improve appetite.

However, with all this, there are a number of contraindications:

  • do not use products made from the "golden root" in the evening;
  • exceed the dosage prescribed by the doctor, otherwise it threatens insomnia and the appearance of irritability;
  • with hypertensive crises;
  • excessive arousal;
  • chronic or short-term insomnia;
  • in any trimester of pregnancy.

Types of rhodiola

In the photo Rhodiola pink

Rhodiola rosea (Rhodiola rosea)

The plant is included in the list of flora representatives included in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation. In nature, it prefers areas where a temperate or cold climate prevails (this includes the North American territories, as well as Ireland and the UK, alpine meadows in the mountains).

Perennial, represented by succulent with a herbaceous form of growth. The rhizome is powerful, located horizontally in the ground, with refined adventitious roots. There are few stems (only 10-15 pieces), they grow straight, they are devoid of branching. Their height in Rhodiola rosea can vary within 10–40 cm. In rare cases, specimens are found with a single stem. The foliage on the stems grows alternately, without petioles (sessile).The outlines of the leaf plates can be elliptical, oblong-ovate, or pointed. Usually the leaves are whole-edged or serrated toothed in the upper part. The leaves are painted in a rich bright green or emerald hue.

When flowering, which occurs in Rhodiola rosea in the summer months (June-July), dioecious flowers bloom. They gather in inflorescences of corymbose outlines, in which there are a large number of buds. The flowers are unisexual, their petals are painted yellow. Flowers are usually composed of four members, but in rare cases this number reaches five. After flowering (approximately in July-August), fruits begin to ripen, represented by erect multifoliates of a greenish hue.

In the photo by Rodiola Kirilova

Rhodiola Kirilova (Rhodiola kirilowii)

The roots are straight and thickened, the diameter of the caudex is 1, 5–2, 5 cm. The apex of the caudex is covered with leaves resembling scales, they are characterized by lanceolate, ovoid or triangular outlines. There are few peduncle stems, their parameters are (10-) 15-60 (-90) cm x 4-6 mm, they grow leafy. Stem leaves alternate or grow sessile. Their shape varies from linear to linear-lanceolate. The size of the leaves (1, 5-) 4-6 x 0, 2-1, 5 cm. The edge of the foliage is sparsely serrate, occasionally whole, rarely with small teeth.

During flowering (from May to September), unisexual flowers open, and only in rare cases are bisexual - unevenly 4- or 5-membered. Sepals take on a linear, oblong or triangular shape. Their length is 1.5–3 mm, the apex is pointed. The color of the petals in the flowers of Rhodiola Kirilov is green, greenish-yellow or red. Their outlines are linear-lanceolate, can be obverse-lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate, broadly oblong or ovoid, 3-4 x 0.8 mm. Stamens 8 or 10, have a size of 2-2.5 (-5) mm, equal to or slightly longer than the petals; filaments and anthers are yellow. Leaflets are lanceolate, 7–8 mm in length, beak curved at the apex, short. Seeds are oblong-lanceolate, about 1.5 mm long.

Natural distribution falls on the territory of Tibet, and also not uncommon in the Tien Shan, Altai and in the northwestern regions of China.

In the photo, Rhodiola linear-leaved

Rhodiola linearifolia (Rhodiola linearifolia)

It grows in natural conditions on forest meadows at the upper border of forests, on rocks and along the banks of streams in Dzhungarskiy Alatau, Kirghiz Alatau. Similar to the species of Rhodiola Kirilov, but its size is smaller. Perennial, with herbaceous growth. The caudex is thickened, in the upper part there is foliage resembling scales of triangular outlines, with sharp points at the top. Their sizes are 0, 6x0, 5 mm. There are a small number of stems (1-3 pieces), while the height varies within 2-30 cm. The stem leaves of Rhodiola are arranged alternately, their shape is linear-lanceolate, there is an extension to the base, the size is 2-5x3-7 mm. Such foliage is almost whole-edged, sessile, with a pointed top.

Flowering occurs in the spring and summer (May-June). The inflorescence is formed of a corymbose type, from a large number of flowers, differs in density. Usually the inflorescence is leafy, its size is 1, 5-5x1, 5 cm. Flowers are dioecious, sometimes bisexual, 4-5-membered. The buds of Rhodiola linear-leaved are attached to short pedicels, which are shorter than a flower. Sepals are linear, pointed, 2, 5 times shorter than petals, greenish. Petals are linear-lanceolate, 4 mm long, obtuse, brick-red. The stamens are 1.5 times larger than the petals, with red filaments and bright yellow anthers. The nectar glands are almost square in cross-section, notched, their length is half the length of the carpels. Male inflorescences have a bright brick-red color, very showy. Fruits are 1, 5–2 times longer than petals, length is 6–8 mm, nose is shortened.

The native habitat is in the mountainous and meadow areas of Central Asia. Used for landscaping flower beds and stone slides.

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Video about the cultivation and use of Rhodiola in a personal plot:

Photos of Rhodiola:

Photo of Rhodiola 1 Photo of Rhodiola 2 Photo of Rhodiola 3 Photo of Rhodiola 4 Photo of Rhodiola 5

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