Growing Rhodiola Rosea


Where Does it Grow?

  • Rhodiola Rosea, also known as Golden Root or Rose Root, is a perennial flowering plant that can grow in a variety of climates. The nickname "Rose Root" comes from the fact that the dried root carries the scent of roses.
    From cliffsides and mountaintops to dry, warm climates, growing the very adaptable Golden Root requires minimal attention in the garden and no attention when growing wild in rocky climates.


  • Rhodiola Rosea seeds can be purchased through certain garden centers or vendors who specialize in selling herb seeds (see Resources). You can also start your own from cuttings, or harvest seeds from a wild plant. Once established, Rhodiola Rosea will self-seed to the point of becoming weedy if not controlled.

Planting and Growing

  • When starting Rhodiola Rosea from seed, plant seeds in shallow soil partially sheltered from wind and sun, starting when there is still significant cold weather. For optimal germination, it is best to soak seeds overnight, and plant in moist, sandy soil that will be placed in cool to cold storage for at least 6 weeks. You can also plant seeds outdoors from September to October in order to allow winter to work its charm.
    The growth process is slow, and seedlings will not tolerate immense moisture or extreme drought. It's best to plant these flowers away from areas that flood and remain saturated after rain storms. Rhodiola Rosea can be planted against buildings or as ground cover.


  • Rhodiola Rosea, after a minimum of 5 years of growth, takes on medicinal qualities. The properly harvested roots contain rosavin and salidroside, components used in the treatment of numerous ailments such as fatigue, depression and stress.

    A good quality Rhodiola Rosea extract will contain at least 3 percent rosalia and 1 percent salidroside. However, only the Russian variety of Rhodiola Rosea contains the medicinal quantities of rosavin. A Chinese variety--Tibetan Rhodiola--contains only salidroside (see Resources).

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