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How to Grow Rhodiola

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017

Rhodiola rosea is a perennial succulent native to Russia, where its dried roots are used for their immune system-boosting and adaptogenic properties. Due to rhodiola’s Russian origins, the plant acclimates best to colder climates and enjoys a rather long stratification process during seed germination. Whether you’re planting rhodiola from seed or transplanting a young plant, proper soil moisture and sunlight, as well as protection from the wind, are essential to growing a healthy rhodiola.

Germinate the rhodiola seeds by beginning with stratification. Store the seeds for six weeks at 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, sow the seeds on moist sterilized potting soil during the winter and place them outside for two or more months while you’re still getting snow.

Plant the rhodiola seeds in limey soil or a rock garden. Press the seeds into the soil and cover lightly. Do not bury the seeds deep in the soil.

Sow your seeds in partial to full sunlight, in a location that is sheltered from the wind. Space your rhodiola one foot apart, planting rows that are eight inches apart. Look for sprouts in late April or early May.

Water your rhodiola once per week, ensuring that the soil doesn’t stay saturated or extremely dry. Do not irrigate your rhodiola if you’re growing them outdoors. Rhodiola are sensitive to over-watering.


Things You Will Need

  • Rhodiola plants or seeds
  • Garden trowel
  • Fertilizer (optional)


  • If you start your rhodiola seeds in a plug tray, you can transplant the seedlings during their first year. The young seedlings grow slowly, so don't get discouraged.
  • Fertilization is not necessary, although mild fertilization may be helpful in less nutritious soils.


  • Don't try to grow rhodiola outdoors if you live in a warm climate. Because rhodiola is native to Russia, it enjoys colder conditions and is not heat tolerant.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.