How To Grow Queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra) In Your Garden

Filipendula rubra, commonly referred to as Queen of the Prairie or Meadow Sweet, is a perennial plant native to the eastern and central regions of North America.

The Filipendula plant is admired for its vibrant, fluffy, pink flowers that bloom in panicles at the top of tall, upright stems during the summer months.

The foliage is deep green and divided into multiple leaflets. The Queen of the Prairie typically reaches a height of four to six feet (120 to 180 cm) and a spread of three to four feet (90 to 120 cm).

Gardeners often choose Filipendula rubra for its striking visual appeal, with its bold flowers adding a splash of color to gardens.

It is also a great choice for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. This plant is suitable for full sun to part shade gardens and thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8 and RHS zones H7 to H2.

Despite its tall stature, it is not typically considered invasive but will appreciate room to spread.

Filipendula rubra
Filipendula rubra photograph by F. D. Richards; CC.

How to grow Filipendula rubra in the garden

The Queen of the Prairie prefers a sunny to partly shaded location with moist, well-draining soil. It's quite tolerant of different soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils, as long as the conditions are consistently moist.

You can plant Filipendula rubra in the spring or early autumn. It's propagated by division in the spring or by sowing seeds in the autumn.

Seeds should be cold stratified before sowing, which involves exposing them to a cold and moist environment for a certain period.

This plant appreciates regular watering, especially during dry periods, to mimic its natural, moist habitat. Despite its moisture-loving nature, ensure the soil drains well to prevent waterlogging.

Queen of the Prairie
Queen of the Prairie image by yewchan; CC.

Filipendula rubra is relatively easy to care for once established and has minimal issues with pests or diseases. Do keep in mind, however, that this plant can become quite tall, so it may require staking in particularly windy conditions or if planted in a more shaded location.

With the right care, the Queen of the Prairie will reward you with its showy flower display and lush foliage, creating an eye-catching spectacle in your garden.

Quick Filipendula rubra Growing and Care Guide

Scientific Name: Filipendula rubra

Common Name(s): Queen of the Prairie, Meadowsweet

Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): USDA Zones: 3-9 RHS Hardiness Rating: H7 (-20°C to -15°C)

Best Used For / Garden Location: Best used for cottage gardens, naturalized areas, or waterside planting. Prefers a sunny location or partial shade.

Plant Details

Life Cycle / Plant Type: Perennial herb

Plant Height: 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters)

Plant Spread: 3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

Blooms: Mid to late summer

Flower Details: Deep pink, fragrant, feathery plumes

Leaf Foliage: Dark green, deeply lobed leaves

Fruit: Small, dry, one-seeded fruit

Growing Conditions and Location

Best Light Conditions: Full sun to partial shade

Suitable Soil Types: Moist, well-drained, preferably rich and slightly acidic soil

Sowing / planting: Plant seeds in spring or divide established plants in spring or autumn.

Germination time: 2-4 weeks at 70°F (21°C).

Propagation: By seed, or by division in spring or fall.

Plant Care: Regular watering is required. Mulch around the base in dry periods. Minimal pruning needed.

Growing in pots and containers: Not ideally suited due to its size and deep roots.

Growing as a Houseplant: Not suitable due to its size and need for outdoor conditions.

Further Information

Miscellaneous: Queen of the Prairie is deer resistant and its blooms attract bees and butterflies. It can spread aggressively in wet soils, so may need controlling in some situations.

Pests and diseases: Generally pest-free, but may suffer from rust diseases.

Common Cultivars / Varieties: Filipendula rubra 'Venusta Magnifica' is noted for its larger, more vibrant flowers.

Family: Rosaceae, the Rose family.

Native: North America.

References and Further Reading: Royal Horticultural Society – Queen of the Prairie; Missouri Botanical Garden – Filipendula rubra; BBC Plant Finder.

Common Questions

Does Filipendula rubra make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Queen of the Prairie, is a great choice for garden or landscape due to its attractive foliage, tall stature, and showy pink flower clusters that add a dramatic flair.

Is it a fragrant plant?

Yes, Filipendula rubra is fragrant. Its fluffy, cotton candy-like blossoms emit a sweet, pleasant fragrance, especially when they are in full bloom during the summer months.

What is the perfect location to grow Filipendula rubra?

Filipendula rubra grows best in a location with full sun to partial shade and prefers consistently moist, well-drained soil. It is ideal for water gardens, wet meadows or along a stream or pond.

Is Filipendula rubra invasive in the USA?

Filipendula rubra is not listed as invasive in the USA. However, it can spread quite readily in the right conditions, so gardeners should keep an eye on its growth to ensure it doesn't take over.

How do I remove Filipendula rubra from my garden?

To remove: dig up the entire plant, ensuring you remove all the roots to prevent regrowth. You should then dispose of the plant material in a way that it can't reestablish in your garden.


Filipendula rubra (Queen of the Prairie): A majestic perennial with pink flower clusters. Plant in moist soil with full sun to partial shade. Provide regular watering and ensure good drainage.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this guide on how to grow Filipendula rubra. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Polyantha Roses, Potentilla, and Dryas plants in the garden.

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