How to Grow Goldenseal

Overview

Goldenseal and goldenseal root have been used by Native Americans as a dye and for their herbal medicinal properties since antiquity. Goldenseal is a perennial herb in the buttercup family. It is native to Canada and the eastern United States and generally grows best in those areas. It was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1905 as a medicinal herb with potential for cultivation.

Step 1

Find an area with well-drained, humus-rich soil. Goldenseal plants require 60 to 70 percent shade. Prepare the soil with the equivalent of between 2.7 and 5.2 tons of lime per acre to create a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.0.

Step 2

Divide the goldenseal rootstock into 1/2 inch or larger pieces, and plant them 8 inches apart. Seeds are often not reliable for goldenseal propagation. Plant the rhizomes in the fall, about 2 to 3 inches deep, much like other bulbs and tubers.

Step 3

Mulch the growing area to retain soil moisture and discourage weed growth. Rake the mulch to around 1 inch thick in the spring. Hardwood chips, bark or sawdust are the best mulches.

Step 4

Be patient. Goldenseal is a difficult plant to grow and can take two years to bloom. If you are planning on harvesting the goldenseal roots, they should be ready for harvest and replanting three to four years after the initial planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Straw, used as mulch, may retain too much moisture and result in plant rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Well shaded area
  • Hand shovel
  • 1/2 or larger goldenseal root pieces
  • Mulch

References

  • How to Grow Goldenseal
  • Goldenseal
  • Commercial Goldenseal Cultivation

Who Can Help

  • Goldenseal
Keywords: herb cultivation, growing herb, herbal cultivation

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.