Galega Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Galega plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Goat's Rue, French Lilac, Italian Fitch: Cultivation & Garden Use

Plants belonging to the Galega genus are hardy perennials that reach heights of between 90 cm and 1.2 m.

They bloom in the summer when they carry pink, lilac or white flowers in sprays.

Goat's Rue is a common species of Galega.

Galega orientalis
Galega orientalis by peganum.

Galega Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Goat’s Rue, French Lilac, Professor Weed, Italian Fitch, Fodder Gelaga.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 32 to 80 inches (80 to 200 cm).
Native: Middle East.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: White, pink, violet, lilac. Sprays.
orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, lilac. Small. Clustered. Fragrant. Daisy-like ray and disc florets. Bell-shaped. Tubular. Trumpets. Inconspicuous pale green; plants are grown for their attractive silvery or bronze spearheads.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Compound. Oval. Pinnate.
Growing Outside: 1/4 inch (6 mm). Start of spring - before the last frost, or towards the end of autumn. Germination time: two weeks to two months. Spacing 8 to 36 inches (20 to 90 cm). Nursery bought plants can be planted in either spring or autumn.
Sow Inside: No
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or light shade. Ordinary to poor. Richer or fertilized soil will result in thinner plants. Cut back stems once flowering has completed. Needs to be divided every two or three years. Propagate: by dividing in the spring in cooler regions or autumn in warmer lands.
Miscellaneous: Gets its name Galega because it can promote lactation; Milk (Gala), Bring on (ega). Considered a noxious weed in some areas.

How to Grow Galega Plants in the Garden

When growing Goat's Rue and other Galega plant members in the garden from seed, then it is best to sow them directly outdoors.

Sow seed in autumn or just before the last frost of spring at a depth of 6 or 7 mm (1/4 inch).

Depending upon planting time, it should take from two weeks to two months for Galega seeds to germinate.

Ideally space the plants from 20 cm to 90 cm (8 to 36 inches) apart in a lightly shaded or sunny part of the garden. This should have an average soil.

Caring for Galega Plant

It is easy to look after Galega plant species. Following flowering, cut back the stems to maintain a tidy appearance.

Every three years the plants should be divided to help maintain vigour. If you require more plants then propagate Galega plants by division in the spring.

Common Questions

How many members does the Galega genus have?

The Galega genus is small, with just two to three species.

Do members of Galega make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Galega, also known as Goat's Rue, can make a beautiful addition to a garden with their clusters of small, pea-like flowers, but can be invasive.

Which Galega species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Galega officinalis is the species most commonly grown, loved for its purple, white or pink flowers.

Are members of the Galega plant genus fragrant?

Galega flowers are not generally known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Galega?

Galega prefers full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. It can tolerate poor soil conditions.

Is Galega invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Presently, Galega officinalis is considered invasive in some northeastern states of the USA.

How do I remove Galega plants from my garden?

To control Galega, remove the plants before they seed. Regular mowing or cutting can also prevent its spread.


The Galega genus, part of the Fabaceae family, is native to the Middle East and Western Asia. Commonly known as Goat's Rue, these perennials produce spikes of small, pea-like flowers in the summer.

Plant Galega in early spring or autumn in a location with full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. They can handle a wide range of soil types. Although fairly drought-tolerant, watering during extended dry periods will support optimal growth.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Galega plants. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Tulips, Nerine plant, and Hyacinth flowers.