The beautiful purple and lavender Liatris flowers may lack a fragrant aroma, but they’re lovely to look at, attract bees and have a soft, fuzzy texture to delight all your senses.
If that doesn’t get you excited about adding them to the garden, the fact that they don’t require heavy lifting from your side ought to do the trick!
What Are Liatris Flowers?
Liatris is a genus of flower belonging to the Asteraceae or Compositae plant family. This essentially indicates that the Liatris blossom is not one big flower Instead, it is made up of a cluster of little flowers that create the illusion of one flower – this is a treat for bees and other pollinators.
The Liatris is also referred to as a gayfeather or blazing star plant and blooms from late summer until autumn.
How to Grow Liatris
The Liatris plant is easy to grow and can suit any garden. They can grow almost anywhere and make great cut flowers. While they do attract butterflies and bees, they are pest resistant and incredibly hardy.
When to Plant Liatris
Plant Liatris corms in the springtime when it’s cool and easy for seedlings to establish themselves. In most cases, flowers will bloom in the first year – around three months after planting. Once established, these flowers will return year after year.
Where to Plant Liatris
The Liatris can be planted virtually anywhere given its versatile nature, however, it prefers sunny conditions.
How to Plant Liatris
The corms, or bulbs, need to be planted in holes about 7 centimetres deep and spaced 30 centimetres apart. They prefer to grow in sunny conditions but can survive slightly shady conditions. In addition to this, they can survive droughts as well as cold conditions. They’re not fussy about soil and will even grow on rocky terrain.
The corms need proper watering after planting, and nothing thereafter. Once the plants emerge, water them at least once a week to ensure that it’s still able to grow, regardless of the heat. Avoid wetting the leaves or flowers as this may lead to fungal diseases.
How to Care for Liatris Flowers
While the plant is hardy, the corms require assistance during the initial growing stages. The corms need to be watered regularly until they have developed a root system. Be cautious when watering, as overwatering can lead to root rot.
Liatris plants require very little attention and even are able to survive a drought. They’re also pest resistant, which adds to their low maintenance.
Once the plant has finished blooming, cut off the flower stalks at the plant’s base. You can leave them alone for a while as they’re still pretty even if their colour has begun to fade.
Butterflies and bees love these flowers, so if you’re looking to attract them to your garden, planting a Liatris is the way to go.
Do blazing stars spread?
Yes, blazing stars have the ability to self-sow as well as spread using their underground root system. As with most plants that spread easily, you need to monitor their growth to prevent them from becoming invasive and taking over your garden.
How long do blazing star plants bloom?
The Liatris flowers bloom approximately three months after planting and will last until the first frost of winter, depending on the climate.
How tall do blazing stars get?
Blazing stars can grow to be around 1.5 metres tall and 60 centimetres wide, so ensure that you have sufficient space to facilitate the growth of this beautiful flower.
Do rabbits eat blazing star?
Yes, the blazing star plant is often eaten by groundhogs, rabbits, small rodents, deer, and other livestock. Planting Liatris in areas with an animal population may affect the growth and development of the plants.
Should you deadhead blazing star?
Yes. Once the flowers begin to wither and fall, you’ll need to deadhead the plant to ensure the bulb has the energy to facilitate the next season’s growth. It’ll also help to ensure the next bloom is more impressive than the last.
Is Liatris invasive?
No, while it is able to spread through its rooting system and self-sowing abilities, the Liatris is not considered to be an invasive species.
How do you divide blazing stars?
It’s a general rule of thumb that you only divide Liatris plants once they’re mature, which takes around three years at least. The best time to divide the plant is early spring or late autumn when it’s dormant. Dig up the dormant perennials and replant them in the new location. Once the growing season is upon us, they will continue to grow, almost as if nothing has changed.
You won’t need to worry about watering the plant as it is dormant and the cool weather means that it won’t be exposed to heat, requiring more water. Following this reasoning, the ground is also easy to work with and retains moisture as evaporation is no longer a concern.
Whatever you do, do not attempt to divide Liatris when they are in bloom or just as they have finished blooming, as the energy they have is being used to produce flowers and seeds. Transport shock is a possibility if you choose to move the plant at this point, and will more than likely kill it.
A Strong And Independent Flower
The Liatris is a pretty little purple flower that will bring colour and life into your garden without you needing to put much effort into the growing process. This plant is the perfect option for a newbie gardener – or even a lazy one.
All you need to do is dig a hole, pop it in and water it. Leave it to develop a root system and it’ll eventually bloom – all in the space of three months. It’s as easy and as simple as that!