Perennials & Ornamental Grasses

Forest goatee - species, use, care and reproduction


The forest goatee brings a very robust perennial to the garden. It makes no great demands on maintenance and is easy to multiply.

© kazakovmaksim -

The forest goatee (bot. Aruncus dioicus) is a long-lived and robust wild perennial, which requires little maintenance. Nevertheless, by optimizing the site conditions, a lush abundance of flowers can be ensured. If the plants are given the necessary space in the perennial border, growth heights of two meters and more are not uncommon. We will now explain to you what else needs to be taken care of when caring for the impressive wild perennials.

Grooming forest goatee

If you take good care of the plant, you will enjoy it for a long time. Because then it hardly happens that your forest goatee is infected by diseases or pests.

Pouring forest goatee

Even if the plant is fairly undemanding, watering should not be neglected. Last but not least, whether and how often irrigation is required depends on the location. You need to water the plant less in a shady place than in a sunny place. During longer dry periods in summer, the plant needs additional water. The floor must not dry out completely. At the same time, watering should not be too intensive. The forest goatee does not tolerate waterlogging. If the soil appears too moist for a longer period of time, the roots start to rot and the plant can no longer provide itself with sufficient nutrients.

Fertilize forest goatee

The forest goatee does not need to be fertilized regularly. The plant's nutritional needs are rather moderate. If the young plants are supplied with compost, they do not need any additional fertilizers in the first year of standing.

" Tip: Fertilization with compost can be repeated every spring.

Cut forest goatee

The plant can be pruned in late autumn or early spring. The forest goatee is generally well tolerated by cutting and can therefore handle both variants.

" Tip: Choose a frost-free, cloudy day for pruning.

How should the pruning be done?

The forest goatee forms a strong root system. This makes the plant well tolerated by cutting. Before winter, or alternatively in early spring, you can cut the plant about a hand's breadth above the ground.

" Tip: The closer the goatee is cut off the ground, the more intensely it shoots and grows bushy.

If you want to prevent the forest goatee from multiplying uncontrollably, you should remove the faded flower panicles. The panicles of the male plants in particular are still a pretty vase decoration even when they have faded and look particularly decorative in bouquets of wildflowers.

What should you watch out for during the winter?

The forest goatee is hardy and can easily withstand temperatures of up to - 20 degrees. Winter protection is not necessary. The cut should not be forgotten in autumn. Then the bloom in the next early summer is all the more abundant.

Multiplication of the forest goatee

The forest goatee does not develop deep roots, but has a woody rhizome. The plant reproduces vegetatively through the rhizomes and the formation of entire stands is not uncommon.

If you prefer to control your forest goatee in a controlled manner, then propagation can be done by dividing the roots and by sowing:

Split root

A division of the root bulbs is still easily possible in younger plants. However, heavily woody older plants are difficult to divide. The entire plant must be removed from the ground for division. Then the tuber is divided with a spade or a sharp knife and the sections can be replanted at the desired location.


Sowing is also a popular form of propagation. The seeds are cold germs. The seeds ripen in September and October.

There are a few things to consider when sowing:

  1. Place the seeds in a flat planter
  2. Keep seeds moist
  3. Cultivate seeds for about four weeks at room temperature
  4. Place the seeds in the refrigerator for four to six weeks
  5. Continue cultivating seeds at room temperature