milkweed and golden rod

Asked June 13, 2017, 11:06 AM EDT

there is a lot of swamp milkweed and common golden rod in the meadow area of my yard which I & the birds & insects are very happy about. I would like some suggestions on how to keep it in that area I already remove the seed heads from the milkweed but is there any way I can control the rhizome spread of both plants? I have been digging some up but that's not very effective. thank you

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

We contacted our native plant specialist regarding the milkweed and goldenrod.
Below are some comments.

Swamp milkweed is a clump-forming plant. I wonder if perhaps you may have Common Milkweed? That one is hard to contain! So is Canada Goldenrod, which I would say is a good candidate for the name Common Goldenrod. You may have a hard time containing them in a meadow situation. In a garden you could use edging or raised beds, combined with cutting off the seed heads, which they are already doing.

Swamp Milkweed would only spread in wet soil, so that will help you decide which one you have. Also, here are links to photos of both Milkweeds:

In a meadow situation I’d recommend using some other aggressive native plants like Clustered Mountainmint, Foxglove Beardtongue, American Germander, and Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). That will help to reduce the exuberance of the Common Milkweed and the Goldenrod. In my meadow, I also pull the stems of Common Milkweed that come up where I don’t want them, and that seems to slow them down a little.