Hot to Grow and Care for a Blazing Star

lazing star

Quick Overview

Plant Type: Perennials
Family: Liatris
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Watering: Average, well-drained soil
Colors: Purple, reddish-purple, white
Size: 2 to 4 feet
Hardiness Zones: 3-9
Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Sand, Loam
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Propagation: By divisions
Toxicity: Non-toxic

Liatris flowers, otherwise known as the blazing star, are a lazy gardener’s dream come true! If you don’t have all the time in the world to give to stubborn flowers but still want a beautiful garden, the blazing star is the plant for you. They are also great for people who are sensitive to smells as they have no scent. They will add a pop of purple to your garden without the fuss of other flowers.

Blazing star plants grow from corms. You’ll have to space them out on the ground and give them abundant water, especially in their first year. Make sure the soil has good drainage and prune your Liatris spicata in the fall, after it has stopped blooming.

Don’t let the name blazing star intimidate you. These flowers are easy and fun additions to anyone’s garden. They need little to no maintenance and will cause you no trouble! Follow our guide to learn everything you need to know about the Liatris flower.

About the Blazing Star

The blazing star belongs to a large plant family. It comes from the Asteraceae family, which is just a fancy way of describing its flowers. The plant blooms clusters of small flowers. If you are looking to attract pollinators like bees and birds to your garden, plants in this family are the way to do so! Bees especially love these purple flowers.

The Liatris spicata is native to the eastern and southern United States. It blooms throughout the summer and into the fall. They feature fuzzy flowers that come in a range of colors depending on which variety you choose.

How to Grow the Blazing Star

If you are growing the blazing star from scratch, it’s important to note that they do not grow from a bulb. They sprout from corms, which are similar to bulbs but have a more wood-like texture. If you are looking to grow big and impressive purple flowers, you’ll want to plant the biggest corm you can find. If they are three inches or more in diameter, you will get large flowers.

When placing your corms in the ground, make sure they are spaced out.  Each corm will need to be at least 12 inches apart. You’ll want to be sure to place them two to four inches deep in the soil.

You can also grow the Liatris spicata from seed. What you’ll need to do is wait a month for germination. Cold and moist weather speeds the germination process up. Early spring is the ideal time to try to grow these beautiful plants from seeds. It is important to note that if you are growing these flowers from seeds, they will not bloom until the second year. Growing the blazing star plant from seeds is only beneficial if you want to cover a lot of ground with the flowers. Otherwise, growing from corms is an easier way to do it. Propagating your blazing star plants can help you cover more ground, but it will be a longer process.

Blazing Star

Propagating Your Blazing Star Plant

The blazing star plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate your plant after the stems have died in the wintertime. Once you have dead stems, you will notice small corms coming from the large corm. These are known as cormels. You’ll want to pick them off the stem and store them in a cool space until springtime. Then you can plant them in your garden. It’s that simple to propagate your Liatris spicata!

Blazing Star Varieties

There are over 40 types of blazing star plants in existence! Out of all of those, there are three that are most commonly grown in gardens. These are the spicata, aspera, and pycostachya types. They come in a range of colors. The most popular varieties include the dotted blazing star which is a purple flower and floristan white which blooms a white flower. Other popular varieties are the kobold which grows a rose colored flower and the September glory, another purple bloom. The Heller’s blazing star is considered a threatened species as explained by this research by the University of North Carolina.

Blazing Star

Caring For Your Blazing Star

Watering and Fertilizing Your Blazing Star Plant

After you first place your corms in the soil, you’ll want to water them well. Water them generously early on for ideal growth. After that, you’ll focus your watering on the climate. During the hottest months of the year, you’ll soak them in about an inch of water once a week. These plants can see fungal infections, so using or installing an irrigation system is ideal. If that is out of your budget or unreasonable for your garden, you can keep your blazing star happy yourself. Just make sure you are watering them at the base of the plant.

You will water them the most during their first year in your garden. That is when they need the most attention. However, these plants become very low maintenance after this initial year. They can be drought tolerant and can handle dry soil. As long as you water them thoroughly for about a year, you don’t need to worry about how much you water them from there.

Another low maintenance aspect of the blazing star plant is the amount of feeding it requires. You likely will not have to fertilize your flower. If you think the plant is not getting enough nutrients from its soil alone; you can use a balanced flower fertilizer once a year. The best time of year to fertilize your blazing star plant is spring as it begins to bloom.

Pruning Your Blazing Star Plant

Pruning is a helpful tool to keep your plants happily growing. If you prune your plant after its growing season, it will help produce more flowers the following spring. You’ll want to prune your plant in the fall time. Make sure the flower has stopped blooming and all blossoming spikes have gone away. Pruning your plant prematurely can impact growth.

Soil

As with water and fertilizer, the blazing star plant is also low maintenance with soil. Just about any type of soil will be fine for this plant. The only requirement is that it drains well. Other than that, you don’t have to sweat the type of soil you use to plant your corms.

Blazing Star

Light and Climate

The blazing star plant needs full light. Make sure you place this plant in the spot in your garden that sees the most sun. If it is in a shaded area, the plant will not bloom.

The blazing star plant can handle many climates. It is fine in heat and humidity and doesn’t fret too much in the winter. The only thing that can bother the plant is if it sits in wet, soggy soil during the winter. This can cause the plant to rot.

Pests And Diseases

If you thought this easy going plant couldn’t get any better, you’ll love to hear that pests are completely uninterested in the blazing star. You will not need to worry about pesky bugs infesting your plant. But, these plants deal with several diseases. They are at risk of getting leaf spots, stem rots, powdery mildew, wilt, and rusts. These diseases can be prevented with good soil drainage, lots of sun, and air circulation.

liatris spicata

Fun Facts About The Blazing Star Plant

These plants make wonderful additions to landscaping, in fact they do great in rock gardens. Liatris plants are easy to maintain and will spread out beautifully in your garden or yard. They are also beloved cut flowers and look great in a vase. You will delight in taking clippings of your newly grown blazing star flowers and proudly displaying them in your home. They are also popular additions to wedding bouquets.

Native to North America, Native Americans were big fans of the blazing star plant. They used the flowers as a treatment for common indigestion.

They are also a favorite plant amongst pollinators. You will often look at your garden and see butterflies, birds, and bees enjoying your blazing star plant.

liatris spicata

Final Words

The blazing star plant is one of the most low-maintenance plants you can add to your garden. They are not picky when it comes to waterings, as long as you give them a good initial soaking. They will make themselves at home in any type of soil, as long as it drains well. The only downfall to these flowers is they are at risk of getting several diseases. But, you can prevent these diseases with well draining soil. They like a lot of sunlight, but other than that, they are tolerable to most climates. They can handle drought and heat like champs.

The blazing star plant is immune to most pests. No dealing with nasty bugs overrunning your precious flowers. Instead, you will often see butterflies, bees, and birds. These flowers are an easy and colorful addition to brighten up your garden or yard. Are you excited to add the blazing star plant to your garden? Are you thrilled about how effortlessly you will keep these plants thriving for years to come? Make sure you share this post on social media so everyone knows! Share this guide with your friend who has always wanted to pick up the gardening hobby but is afraid of killing their plants. The blazing star plant is the perfect first flower for an inspiring gardener!!