Meadow Rue

Meadow Rue is a plant that will make a welcome addition to any garden.

These are large plants that grow up to six feet tall, so you can use them as a backdrop to smaller plants.

They look extremely attractive with large and fluffy flower heads that are really charming.

There are many species and varieties available, so you have quite a wide choice of colours, ranging from pastel shades of lilac and pink to a showier purple, as well as simple looking but still exquisitely beautiful whites and yellows.

The foliage is also very attractive, with beautiful blue-green leaves. Even the shape and texture of the very leaves themselves can vary from species to species, ranging from the wide purple-shaded leaves of the Japanese varieties, to ‘fine’ Meadow Rue, with leaves that are really slim leaflets, almost fern like.

This gives you some idea of the variety available, so when you plant these plants, be sure to consider this and choose a variety that will go best with the other plants around it, and which will not look at all out of place in your garden.

The variety available means that you will be sure to find one that will fit in with the ‘theme’ of your garden, and these plants do especially well with varieties of plants that flower in the spring.

If you plant perennials around it that is not as high as this tall plant, you will create a plant-scape that looks original and truly beautiful.

How to Space Meadow Rue

This plant is not only tall, but will also spread out to a considerable extent, and should therefore be located with this in mind. As mentioned earlier, shorter perennials around it will not only beautify the surroundings of the plant, but just as importantly, allow it the room it needs to spread out and grow, and to show it off to the best advantage.

I cannot over-stress this point – remember when you buy this plant that any plant purchased from a nursery will probably be relatively young and therefore might be rather small at the time you buy it.

Keep in mind when you transfer Meadow Rue to your garden that this plant will grow to the height of a tall adult human and, depending on the species, can spread out up to four feet.

You must not plant it close than that minimum distance to any plant or tree that can match it for height and will crowd it, cause its branches to be pushed to one side, and generally detract from the beauty of the plant. Give this plant the space to grow and it will be a true ornament in your garden.


Meadow Rue evolved in marshes, and will do very well if you keep the ground moist, and use mulch to protect the roots from the heat. Generally speaking, you should keep in mind its native habitat and try to replicate it as accurately as possible.

Meadow Rue will tolerate many grasses as neighbours, and indeed if you wish different plants to flourish well together, you cannot do better than to source them from the same environment.


The seeds of this plant are best put in the ground either in spring, or failing that, in late summer. Remember that this plant will take years to establish itself properly, sometimes as long as half a decade, and you really should not try to divide it in this time. When the time is right and the plant is well established, you can divide it during the spring.


Meadow-Rue is one of those wonderful flowers with big round puffy flower heads. They come in lilac, pink, purple, white and yellow. Their leaves are bluish green, open and showy. The entire plant is open and showy I should say.

This gardening shade flower grows to 6 feet and spreads to 2 to 4 feet. It does best in humus rich, moist well drained soil. Bloom time is late Spring to early Summer. Blooms will last up to 2 months and deadheading will prolong this period.

Propagation by division or by seeds collected from your flowers can be sown immediately. Seed from a package is less reliable. These shade tolerant flowers don’t like to be moved, so be careful when dividing.

There are many to choose from, colour, foliage, flower shape and height. The leaves differ as well; check your catalogues for the one that will match your garden.

A rich humus soil well drained. Mulch Spring and Fall to keep the roots moist in Summer and to protect them in the Winter.

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