Perennial Overview: Thalictrum (Meadow Rue)


Discover how to grow Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) with instructions on starting seed, transplanting, site selection, care and maintenance, water and fertilization requirements, and  pests and diseases.

Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) Stats at a Glance

Botanical Name: Thalictrum 

Common Name(s): Meadow rue

Height: 2-3 feet

Soil Conditions:  Well-drained, fertile soil

Sun: Full sun/partial shade

Soil pH Conditions: Neutral to slightly acidic

Planting Instructions

Can I Start Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) from Seed?

Sow seeds directly in the garden in the fall.


To start indoors, fill individual peat pots with a fertile commercial soil starter and moisten.  Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil. Press them lightly into the soil to ensure contact with growing medium. Place in a room with a constant temperature of 55-60°F.  Cover with clear plastic wrap to maintain the soil moisture and temperature.  Keep the soil moist.  When seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move to a sunny location.


Time to Germination: 15-21 days
Light/Darkness Requirements:
Optimal Temp. for Germination: 55-60°F



When Do I Plant Thalictrum (Meadow Rue)?

Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) should be planted until after the last frost and the soil has reached at least 68°F.

Soil Temperature: 68°F


Where Do I Plant Thalictrum (Meadow Rue)?

Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) plants perform best in loamy, well-drained soil high in organic matter but will grow in nearly any good garden soil that is well-drained. Incorporating several inches of organic matter into the soil when preparing the bed will improve growth and development.  Does not perform well in hot soil.  Prefers light shade in hotter climates.

Soil Type: Well-drained
Sun Exposure: Full sun/partial shade
Soil pH: Neutral to slightly acidic


How Far Apart Do I Plant Thalictrum (Meadow Rue)?

Space plants 18-24” apart.

Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) Plant Care and Maintenance

Once established, most perennials require very little routine care and maintenance.

How Often Should I Water Thalictrum (Meadow Rue)?

For many perennials, average rainfall is sufficient to keep the plants healthy.  Supplementation may be necessary in droughty conditions.

The key to watering Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) is to maintain a consistent moisture level.  This is especially important during flower and fruit development. The soil should be moist to a depth of 6”.

Water the soil around the plant. Overhead watering will encourage disease.  Drip irrigation is best.

Mulch around the plant will help to lock in moisture.


Should I Fertilize Thalictrum (Meadow Rue)?

Most perennials do not require a specific fertilization regiment.  Fertilizing decisions should be based on a soil test.  If a soil test cannot be obtained and you feel that your perennial bed would benefit from fertilization, keep it light.  Work in a small amount of a low nitrogen fertilizer, such as 5-10-5 around the plants in the early spring.

Fertilize the soil around the plant at least 6” from the plant base. Irrigate into the soil.

Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) Diseases

The most common diseases associated with this plant include powdery mildew.

Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) Pests

The most common pests associated with this plant include: no major pest problems.

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