How to Grow Liatris or Blazing Star
Blazing Star or Liatris
Blazing Star or Liatris is an awesome, unique flower and a member of the Aster family. It is also known by the names gay feather, colic root and button snake root.
What is interesting about it is it is among the few flowers in the world that bloom from the top down rather than the bottom up. This spiked flower starts its journey from the top with colorful purple flowers, which descend as the season goes on (it also has white and lavender flowers, although much rarer).
The flowers themselves have a fuzzy appearance, and while classified as a wildflower, has become very popular among home gardeners, especially those that live in drier climates.
Depending on the specific variety or varieties you plant, Liatris will grow from 1' high to 5' high, and being a perennial, will come back year after year.
Prairie Blazing Star - Photo
Where to Grow Liatris
Liatris performs the best where the lowest temperatures range from minus 40 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. That means they do well in zones 3 - 8.
As to the best place in the yard or garden to plant them, a location with full sun is best, especially in cooler climates. If you're a little more south, Liatris will tolerate a little shade.
Concerning the best soil, other than a poorly draining area, they will do well almost anywhere. They will of course do better in a quality soil which will retain some moisture. If they are planted in an area with poor drainage they'll probably end up rotting.
Avoid low areas with poor drainage, as it's the only place where Liatris could completely fail.
- How to Grow Extraordinary Petunias Throughout the Summer
For those who love to have beautiful and colorful homes and gardens throughout the summer, one of the easiest and most productive ways to do that is to plant petunias. There is no great amount of knowledge to have to be successful, and the...
- How to Grow Beautiful Zinnia Flowers
Zinnia is formally a member of Asteraceae family, or as most of us call it: the Aster family. They come in all different sizes, and can grow from about half a foot high to over three feet high, depending on the variety you choose. As for color,...
- How to Grow Magnificent Gladiolus Year After Year
Gladiolus, which are also at times called the sword Lilly, which comes from shape of the leaves of the beautiful flower, are a fantastic flower used for celebrations, cut flowers and places for show in the garden or yard. The flower has become a...
- How to Grow Beautiful, Colorful, Fragrant Climbing Roses
If there's an empty spot in your landscaping scheme that needs to be filled, a fence that needs something to be added to, or a wall somewhere that looks too bare, a climbing rose could be just the thing to get things looking right in your yard. ...
- Growing Beautiful Lilies
Lilies are one of the most beautiful and fulfilling flowers to grow. With just a few tips anyone can grow them well and be very successful with this particular flower variety. Not only are lilies fantastic to look at and a terrific addition to...
When to Grow Liatris
Liatris is grown from rhizomes or corms. Which one is determined by the variety you choose to plant. They also can be grown from seed.
Either way, you can plant them in the early part of spring or late fall to get best results. If starting from seed, you won't get blooms until the second year after planting them.
How to Grow Liatris
Plant Liatris corms up to 2" deep, spacing them about a foot, or a little more, apart. The tuberous roots of the plants will spread, so give them a little breathing room to expand over time.
Seed can be worked into the ground as soon after the last frost date as possible.
Once you get a bed going you can gather seed and grow them in containers for the next planting season.
After several years you should also divide the plants when they get too close to one another in order to help prevent fungal diseases, and also to expand the garden area covered if you want to.
With the rhizomes, separate them using a sharp tool or knife, always being sure to retain at least one eye in each portion. When you plant these space them about a foot to fifteen inches apart.
Other than diseases which can result from overcrowding, the plants and flowers will also be put under pressure if they're too close together, ending up with both of them being stunted.
Hardy Perennials - Liatris, Blazing Star, Gay Feather - All About This Perennial
Being a hardy plant, Liatris don't need to be watered when a little dryness hits. You can wait until it dries to up to four inches deep before watering them once they're established.
For the most popular variety 'liactris spicata,' you shouldn't allow it to dry more than about a half inch down before watering.
Water them too much and it'll kill the plant. When you do water do it earlier in the day. Be especially careful in the winter months as to how much you water the plant because they are more susceptible to rot during that season.
You can also mulch them to keep the weeds down and help keep them at optimum levels of moisture.
Once the flowers fade you can snip them off to the ground in preparation for next growing season.
Diseases and Insects
If you plant them in the right place and keep a clean area around the plants, there should be few problems - whether insect or disease - which will affect Liatris.
There are occasional exceptions, which if that happens simply should be taken care of in the usual manner. Pests known to damage Liatris are whiteflies, thrips and aphids.
For diseases, if they occur, usually they'll be powdery mildew or leaf spot disease.
Liatris or Blazing Star
Liatris is a great choice and addition to any cut flower arrangement, and look fantastic whether they're displayed dried or fresh.
They look terrific in the garden and are very easy to grow, with little maintenance once they've established themselves.
When looking for a nice addition to a garden, one that is unique and easy to grow, it doesn't get much better than a Liatris, as it fits almost everything we as gardeners look for to accentuate our gardens, and they show great too.
What more could we ask for from a flower?
More by this Author
Tips and tricks to grow better Bougainvillea
Tips and ideas on how to successfully plant and grow Naked Lady or Amaryllis Belladonna.
Here are the perfect printable coloring pages of the Grinch. Best of all, these printouts are free.