Why liatris is a favorite among both gardeners and butterflies
- Great for cut flower gardens and dried flowers
- Fragrant flowers are food for native pollinators
- Offers gorgeous purple or white, fluffy, summer blooms
- Grows three to six feet tall
Growing liatris or blazing star from corms
A North American wildflower, liatris spicata is an excellent addition to the perennial garden or cut flower patch. Also called Blazing Star or Prairie Gayfeather, this wildflower originated in the eastern United States but has naturalized across the continent. Blazing star is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow from bulbs. Eden Brothers has two varieties of prairie gayfeather to choose from, one solid purple and one a mix of purple and white. Incorporate this lovely native into your landscape for striking blooms and pollinator habitat!
The best growing conditions for liatris
Liatris is hardy in zones 5 through 9, and this wildflower is tolerant of differing soil varieties. Plant blazing star bulbs in the spring, after the last frost. Choose a planting site that receives full sun for best results, although liatris can tolerate some shade. Be sure that the planting site drains well—prairie gayfeather doesn’t like to sit in water. Amend the site with compost to add nutrients and improve drainage.
Dig a hole for each corm six inches deep, and space plantings at least a foot apart. Fill the bottom of the hole with a couple inches of soil, and plant liatris corms flat side down. Fill the hole the rest of the way with soil and water thoroughly. For visual appeal, you may opt to plant several bulbs together in a larger hole, creating a stunning pop of color come summertime.
Liatris perennials come back each year
After the liatris corms are in the ground, step back and let nature do the rest! Liatris will typically grow three to four feet tall. Blazing star plants don’t need much attention after planting—these perennials will bloom season after season to please you and the pollinators that are sure to make a home in your garden.
Expect blazing star blooms in the first year, about two to three months after planting.You’re sure to fall in love with the feathery spires. Liatris are lovely in cut flower bouquets—cut the stems once the top few buds have started to show color. Blazing star blooms make for great dried flowers too. To dry liatris, harvest stems when the spires are half-open, bundle, and hang upside down in a dark place and the spires will hold their color!
Grow liatris corms to attract pollinators
Liatris look lovely in the vase, but they are even more beautiful in the garden. The purple and white spires are attractive not just to human eyes, but to native pollinators like bumblebees and monarch butterflies. If you want, you can deadhead spent flowers, which will extend bloom time—but if you don’t get to cutting back liatris, the birds will probably thank you for leaving them a snack.
If you have a hole to fill in your perennial garden or you’re building a butterfly garden, you need to incorporate prairie gayfeather. This native perennial flower is a lovely addition to any planting, and Eden Brothers has selected the healthiest, most productive bulbs to choose from. For more information about planting, growing, and harvesting blazing star bulbs, see the Liatris Spicata Flower Planting Guide.