A theory for the dynamics and statics of growing elastic rods is presented. First, a single growing rod is considered and the formalism of three-dimensional multiplicative decomposition of morphoelasticity is used to describe the bulk growth of Kirchhoff elastic rods. Possible constitutive laws for growth are discussed and analysed. Second, a rod constrained or glued to a rigid substrate is considered, with the mismatch between the attachment site and the growing rod inducing stress. This stress can eventually lead to instability, bifurcation, and buckling. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.