Aruncus flowers appear in summer as large, feathery blossoms.
image by pastilletes: Flickr.com
Aruncus, also known as goatsbeard, is a genus of herbaceous perennials native to North America, Europe and Asia. They can grow up to 6 feet in height and form white, feathery blossoms that look similar to a goat's beard, hence the name. Aruncus plants bloom during summer and are typically non-invasive. The plant requires very little care in most temperate hardiness zones, and can thrive even when neglected.
Plant aruncus in a location that receives partial shade during most of the day, especially in warmer climates. Sprinkle a small amount of balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer over the soil prior to planting to increase fertility.
Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball. Remove the aruncus from the container and place it directly into the hole. Cover with soil, and water thoroughly to compact the soil around the roots. Space aruncus plants at least 4 feet apart to allow room for growth.
Water aruncus about twice a week, enough to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Increase watering to three times a week if the edges of the leaves scorch, and during drought periods. Do not water during winter.
Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the soil surrounding the aruncus. Leave a 3-inch gap between the stem and the beginning of the mulch layer to allow air circulation and room for growth. Stem rot may occur if mulch is placed directly against the plant.
Feed aruncus plants using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer once per year in the early spring, just as growth begins. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for proper dosage and application. Water thoroughly after applying to distribute the nutrients.
Cut back dead stems in late winter to allow room for new growth in the spring. Use pruning shears and cut the limbs off as close to the stem as possible. Dead flowers may be removed if desired, but this will not encourage additional blooming.