How to Grow Aruncus dioicus Plants in your Garden

Aruncus dioicus is an herbaceous spring bloomer and member of the Rosaceae (rose) family.

Commonly referred to as Goat's beard, this bushy perennial is recognized by its feathery, arching spikes with small, ivory-colored flowers which lend it a second nickname, "Bride's feathers".

Goats beard
Aruncus dioicus photograph by Leonora (Ellie) Enking.

Aruncus dioicus blooms appear in early or mid-summer with the male plants being the most showy.

The foliage is fern-like and green, but fades to yellow in autumn.

Easy to grow, gardeners often choose to locate Goat's beard plants in attractive en masse plantings beside ponds and streams and in rain gardens.

With their four to eight foot (1.2 to 2.4 m) height and two to four foot (0.6 to 1.2 m) spread, they can serve as hedges, but also have suitably in beds and borders, and in informal gardens. Plants take up to five years to reach their full spread and height.

Goat's beard can also be used as a single focal point, particularly in small gardens. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9, and is UK hardy.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Goat's Beard

Slow to establish, Aruncus dioicus prefers full sun or part shade and rich, medium to wet soils. Water them well in dry weather.

These plants are typically propagated by dividing the rhizomes in early autumn or spring.

As the plants tend to form into large clumps, the rhizomes should be planted not less than 2 1/2 feet (75 cm) apart.

Alternately, these plants can also be propagated by sowing seed in a cold frame.

Once plants are established, they are fairly easy to transplant and should be pruned back to one inch (2.5 cm) after the blooming season has passed.

Goat's beard is for the most part free of pest and diseases, and are resistant to rabbits.

Aruncus dioicus Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Aruncus dioicus
  • Common Name: Goats beard
  • Growing Zone: USA: 3 to 7; UK Hardiness Zone H6 (considered hardy to temperatures of around 20°C / -4°F).
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Perennial

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 48 to 60
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 48 to 72
  • Time of Bloom: Early to Mid-summer
  • Flower Details: White
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Upright / erect

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: shade to partial shade partial sun
  • Rate of Growth: Quick
  • Suitable Soil Types: Neutral, Sandy, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Moist/Wet

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Low
  • Propagation: Seeds sown in spring or autumn or byDivision in spring
  • How to Prune: Cut back after flowering
  • Pests: Sawflies may cause defoliation
  • Diseases: Usually pest free

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of: Rabbit
  • Best Garden Use: Border, En masse , Seashore, Specimen, Woodland garden
  • Family: Rosaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Roses (Rosa), Prunus, Alchemilla, Aronia, Pyrus, Sanguisorba, Sorbus, Acaena, Crataegus, Rubus, and Waldstenia.

  • Miscellaneous: Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant
  • Genus Detail: Aruncus
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Aruncus Dioicus. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Waldsteinia and Rosa rugosa.