Growing Golden Seal
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Jon Richesson
Posted on: September 24, 2004

For two years now I have ordered the goldenseal root to grow, I have planted them out doors and tried to plant them in pots, problem is none grow... The first plants I ordered were large and had the flowers at the leaf base they were perfect I planted those outside on the north side of the house, four weeks later they had died. I ordered more same results. The last order this year I planted the rootlets in pots. One pot produced nothing, the second pot only one root started, the leaf stem came up about 1" and started to turn black at ground level and died. I have left them undisturbed now all summer and nothing has came back, I have kept one pot moist and let the other one dry out but nothing happens in either pot. What am I doing wrong?

I live in Utah, USA and according to all the information I get, this plant grew in all the forests of North America. (I have my doubts esp., with my results.) Can you help please? I am spending more on plants than buying the product.

Goldenseal needs a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and the soil should be rich, moist, well-drained; 25cm deep fertile wood soil with compost, raw bone meal, cottonseed meal; or humus-rich hardwood forest soil. Go to a hardwood forest (sugar maple, oak, beech) and collect some soil for your plants from there. The plants seem to need the fungi that are associated with these hardwoods. They are much like ginseng in this respect. The soil in your garden has probably lost the beneficial fungi by now. Make sure you water with rain water, since tap water is usually much too high in pH. Keep the plants shaded. They grow in hardwood forests after all.

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