Black Cohosh: Planting and Caring for Bunches and Varieties

Black cohosh clusters. This perennial plant, familiar to many experienced flower growers, belongs to the Buttercup family as one of its brightest representatives. Currently, we know 15 species of this plant, and each of them begins to flower at a different time. You can find wild species of black cohosh in Siberia, European mountains, as well as in temperate latitudes of North America, China, Mongolia, the Far East, and the Japanese islands. Our climate suits any species of black cohosh well, as they don’t just withstand spring frosts but also endure severe winter cold.

The Name and Reputation

The origin of the name “black cohosh” is interesting: this word translates from Latin as “repelling insects.” The plant earned this somewhat unpleasant name due to the stinky cohosh, which finds wide use as an insecticide. It costs only a little to damage this perennial , and the air immediately begins to become saturated with an unpleasant-smelling substance. Therefore, it is not surprising that people often call it “ordinary stinker” or “clogged root.”

This variety is not used much for decorative purposes. Gardeners generally prefer varieties that have a more pleasant aroma. More accurately conveys the meaning of the name of this plant in the German version, which sounds like “silver candles.”

It attracts attention not only with its elegant appearance, but also with its structure. The leaves, which are similar to large parsley, have decorative properties; They form immediately from a tall, thick stem. Inflorescences usually have two shapes: spike-shaped and racemose.

Adaptability and Longevity of Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh
Planting and Caring for Black Cohosh Bunches:Varieties

In those years when the summer is cool, black cohosh may not bloom. However, it still has a considerable number of advantages that are valued in landscape design: vitality, simplicity, frost resistance and durability. It can be grown in one place without transplanting for 25 years … Moreover, from year to year the attractiveness will only increase. And although the name does not sound so pretty, this does not apply to its decorative properties, because cohosh is a very colorful and spectacular plant.

Popular Black Cohosh Varieties.

Black Cohosh
Planting and Caring for Black Cohosh Bunches:Varieties

Genus black cohosh includes many types , each of which has its own characteristics, therefore, it is on them that you should pay attention when choosing an option for creating flower arrangements.

Characteristics and Growing Considerations for Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is branched. It is a tall plant that can reach a height of 2 meters. During the growing season, it forms small cream- coloured flowers that form large, elongated inflorescences. The leaves of this species of cohosh have a varied colour, which can be chocolate red, bronze or dark cherry. Flowering occurs unusually late, unlike many plants, in September. However, if there is a lot of rain during the season, the plant may not have enough time to form inflorescences. Therefore, it is undesirable to choose a shady area for planting.

A Closer Look at Black Cohosh Varieties and Characteristics

Black cohosh is simple. The characteristic features of this plant are small drooping inflorescences, which are made up of small flowers. This variety of cohosh has the worst case scenario in cloudy summers, since in such conditions there is a high probability that it will not bloom. Within this group, it is worth highlighting the Brunet variety, demanded by many flower growers. It features chocolate-bronze foliage that retains its rich hue throughout the season. Its white flowers, which turn purple at the time of flowering, look no less attractive.

Exploring the Characteristics of Cohosh Racemosus (Black Cohosh)

Racemose of black cohosh (cohosh racemosus). It is a tall perennial plant that usually grows up to 2 metres in height. It is decorated with fragrant inflorescences that are candle-shaped, opening from the bottom up. Flowering begins in July and lasts until September. At this time of year, the plant transforms when flowers that have a white or cream hue begin to bloom.

Distinctive Characteristics and Appearance of Black Cohosh

Black cohosh smells bad. This species differs from other species by an unpleasant odour that comes from the aerial part of the rhizome. Many people know this variety under the name “Adam’s rib”, and he uses it for a reason, because its lower blades look very similar to ribs. The tallest are adult specimens, which can reach 2 metres in height.cohosh leaves are large and feathery. The small, light green flowers appear in the form of paniculate inflorescences.

Exploring the Features of American Black Cohosh

American black cohosh. This plant stands out for its impressive size, as it can grow up to 90-150 cm. During growth, it forms dense, bright green leaves. Flowering begins in July and lasts until the end of August: at this stage, it has cylindrical inflorescences, brushes, which form flowers of a grey-beige shade.

Daurian Black Cohosh: Unique Characteristics and Appearance

Daurian black cohosh. Mature plants do not usually exceed one metre in height. The inflorescences have signs of pubescence, which appear in the form of long branched candles. As a rule, they look a little drooping due to the small white flowers.

All varieties of cohosh have their own characteristics , differing from each other in terms of flowering, size and shade of inflorescences.

Plant care Secrets.

When growing black cohosh, experience is not particularly important, so even a novice gardener can enjoy the flowering of cohosh. But certain points must be considered to keep the flowers bright and vibrant each season.

Optimal Growing Conditions for Black Cohosh

This plant thrives equally well in open spaces and in the shade. However, it’s advisable to select a location shielded from drafts to ensure its survival. Planting black cohosh too close to trees results in poor growth because the roots absorb moisture and nutrients provided during perennial care.

Essential Care Tips for Growing Black Cohosh

Keep in mind that growing cohosh involves tending to a relatively large plant. Adult specimens require more space than young ones. It’s recommended to cultivate cimicifuga in moist, humus-rich soil with a loose structure. Regular mulching helps reduce moisture evaporation, but avoid placing mulch near the base of the plant to prevent moisture stagnation and stem rot. During dry periods, watering alone won’t suffice; supplement it with regular spraying.

Care and Maintenance Tips for Black Cohosh Plants

Throughout the growing season, cohosh requires additional feeding using mineral fertilizers applied according to the instructions. Despite its robustness, strong winds can cause significant damage, so it’s advisable to provide support for the stems, particularly for tall specimens.

Natural Weed Suppression and Pest Resistance in Black Cohosh

As the season progresses, cohosh produces dense foliage that naturally suppresses weed growth, eliminating the need for manual weeding once the bush matures. Furthermore, this plant boasts natural resistance to diseases and pests.

Year-Round Care and Pruning for Black Cohosh Plants

Caring for this plant is a year-round commitment. In the fall, prune withered panicles to maintain the bush’s attractiveness, which is especially crucial for varieties with unique-looking leaves. To ensure cohosh’s winter survival, perform a complete stem pruning at the end of autumn.

Enhancing Winter Survival for Black Cohosh Plants

It’s essential not to solely rely on the plant’s cold resistance, as even in such cases, it benefits from a layer of fallen leaves for protection, particularly for rhizomes that grow strongly upward. Tender species of cohosh typically do not survive harsh winters when grown in the garden.

How to Breed Black Cohosh?

The main methods of plant breeding are: sowing seeds, dividing the bush and propagating by cuttings .

Sowing Seeds.

There have been ongoing disagreements among specialists regarding the first breeding method. Some argue that the best approach involves sowing seeds immediately after harvesting them.

However, there is a different perspective on this matter: it is imperative to harden the seeds through stratification for a period of six months before sowing them.

  • During the first three months, keep the seeds in a dry place at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. For the remaining time, refrigerate the seeds at 4 degrees Celsius.

    Black Cohosh
    Planting and Caring for Black Cohosh Bunches:Varieties

Typically, these measures ensure the full development of the embryo and increase the germination percentage. Once the seedlings reach maturity, transplant them to a permanent location, making sure to include a clump of soil with the plants. When employing this growth method, flowering occurs within two to three years.

Rhizome Division.

The best way to propagate plants is by dividing them in early spring. For this operation, it’s ideal to use 5-6-year-old seedlings. However, remember that the rhizome of cohosh is quite rigid, so you will need a sharp axe or shovel to obtain planting material.


Many homeowners often choose cohosh as an unpretentious plant to decorate their paintings. This plant fulfills all expectations because it is straightforward to grow in our latitudes, and it also tolerates cold weather perfectly. Therefore, you can plant cohosh in open ground in early spring without worrying about frost damage. However, it still has specific requirements for cultivation in open field conditions. You must remember that cohosh requires regular watering. You should avoid soil moisture stagnation; otherwise, the plant may die before it’s time for transplanting to a permanent location.