Liatris is an American perennial with tall, purple, stalklike flowers that can grow to 4 feet tall. When grown in bunches they can make the garden appear to be a meadow of wildflowers in full bloom. Also known as Blazing Star, Liatris is a veritable butterfly and bird magnet; they flock to the garden when this plant is in bloom. This is a great plant for the beginning gardener as it is simple to grow from bulbs, or corms, as they are most commonly known.
Plan to plant your Liatris corm from early spring to midsummer, in a sunny spot in your garden. For best flowering results, choose corms that are 3 to 5 inches in circumference.
Dig up the soil in the planting area to a depth of 12 inches, breaking up any large clods of dirt and removing any rocks or debris. Level the soil with the rake. Liatris will thrive in just about any texture or fertility of soil, but prefers dry soil.
Dig a hole with the trowel deep enough for the corm to be planted 2 inches from the surface of the soil. If you are planting more than one corm, plant them 2 to 4 inches apart, or four to six corms per square foot.
Drop the Liatris corm into the planting hole making sure that the roots are facing downward. Cover the corm with soil and tamp down lightly. Water very sparingly for the first three weeks after planting.
Allow the soil to dry between watering as soon as the first sprout appears. If conditions in your area are windy or exceptionally dry, you may need to water more often.
Plant additional corms every 10 to 15 days, until early August, to enjoy continual blooms throughout the summer. Your Liatris plants should bloom within 70 days of planting the corms.
- To avoid rotting the Liatris corm, do not allow the soil to become soggy.
- Liatris tends to be hardier if the soil is not overly rich in nutrients.