Growing Instructions for Rhodiola Rosea


Rhodiola rosea grows in the cold, arctic regions of the world. This succulent is native to Europe, Asia and North America and is hardy to USDA plant hardiness zone 1. Rhodiola rosea, also called rose-root, flowers from late May to early August. The separate male and female plants must be planted together to produce seeds in the fall. This self-seeding succulent thrives in sunny locations and light, well-draining soil.

Step 1

Fill a seed-starting flat with rich compost. Sprinkle the compost into the flat and smooth it out gently with your hand to maintain a fluffy consistency. Dampen the compost so that it is evenly moist all the way through. Do not waterlog the material. Start Rhodiola rosea seeds in the early spring.

Step 2

Scatter the Rhodiola rosea seeds over the top of the compost. Scatter the seeds evenly over the soil so that they are each about 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Put the flat in a cold frame or greenhouse where the temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Keep the compost around the seeds damp during germination. The seeds will germinate in two to four weeks. Keep the seedlings in the cold frame or greenhouse during germination and early development.

Step 4

Fill individual 2-inch pots or cell packs of individual compartments with a well-draining soil mixture. Look for soil mixtures formulated for cacti and succulents.

Step 5

Prick the seedlings from the seed flat when they are about 1/2-inch tall or large enough to handle. Place a pencil or pricking tool under a group of seedlings and gently lift up. Remove the seedlings from the soil with your hands and gently tease the roots apart with your fingers.

Step 6

Place one Rhodiola rosea seedling in each pot or cell. Plant the seedlings so that they are the same depth in the new pot as they were in the seed starting tray. Pat down the soil around each plant to secure it in the pot. Keep the seedlings in the cold frame or greenhouse for the first year.

Step 7

Transplant the Rhodiola rosea seedlings outside in the late spring the year after germination. Select a place that gets full sun and has light, well-draining soil. This plant can withstand some moisture around the roots but will perish in standing water.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost Seed starting tray Cold frame or greenhouse Potting mix Pencil 2-inch pots


  • Plants for A Future Database: Rhodiola rosea
  • Cactus and Succulent Society Of America: Latin and Common Names
  • The United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • Government of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Rhodiola Rosea--A High Value Crop
Keywords: growing rhodiola rosea, growing rose-root, planting rhodiola rosea

About this Author

Eulalia Palomo has been a freelance writer with Demand Studio since 2009, writing for GardenGuides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine, and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Palomo is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University Online.