Rhodiola rosea, also called arctic root and rose root, is a perennial flowering plant native to cold regions around the world, such as the Arctic, Rocky Mountains and the Alps. For centuries, the plant's rhizome has been dried, ground and used for medicinal purposes in Scandinavian countries. Several recent studies have shown that rhodiola rosea helps combat fatigue and enhances mental function, according to the New York University Langone Medical Center website. Growing rhodiola rosea in the highly changeable climate in Kansas may be a challenge. Choose the appropriate area in the garden where it will be protected from summer heat and winds. Rhodiola rosea is not an easy seed to start, but the established plant requires little maintenance.
Place the rhodiola rosea seeds in a bowl of water and soak them overnight.
Place a 2-inch layer of moist sand on the bottom of a plastic container and scatter the seeds over the surface. Cover them with an additional 2-inch layer of sand. Place the lid on the container and put it in the refrigerator, where it should remain for 30 days.
Combine equal parts of peat moss and sand. Pour it into a seed tray and water it until the water drains from the bottom. Allow the tray to sit until it completely drains and the soil is moist, not saturated.
Sprinkle the rhodiola rosea seeds evenly across the surface of the soil and cover with a 1/2-inch layer of sand. Mist the surface of the sand with water until it is moist.
Place the tray in a sunny, cool area (50 degrees F or lower). Keep the soil slightly moist until the seeds germinate. This should occur within four weeks.
Transplant the seedlings into individual planting pots when they have their third set of leaves. Use the same soil mixture in which the seeds germinated. Keep the soil moist and the pots in a well-lit area, but out of direct sunlight. Grow the seedlings indoors until after their first winter.
Plant the rhodiola plants into a sunny spot in the garden in early spring. If you live in one of the windier areas of Kansas, find a sheltered location for the plants. Rhodiola prefers a somewhat stony soil so add 3 inches of the coarsest sand that you can find, and 3 inches of well-rotted manure, and mix it into the top 12 inches of soil.
Dig holes in the planting area that are the same depth but twice the width of the nursery pots. Place the roots in the holes and fill them with soil.
Water to a depth of 6 inches after planting and provide an inch of water every 10 days. During the Kansas summers you may need to water more to keep the roots cool. If the plant begins to wilt, water it deeply.