En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 15, 2008

From: Tomball, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Correct cultural conditions for liatris
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently bought some gayfeather (liatris pycnostachya) and planted in my yard in a nice full sun spot. Gets sun for roughly 10 hours a day. However, it's also the single driest spot in my yard (just northwest of Houston, in Tomball, TX) and right off the bat it has been pretty wilty. Is this just because it is recently planted and it will need some watering to get through the first year and next year it will be better, or is this a sign of things to come? I've read that it -tolerates- drought, but it seems to prefer at least semi-moist soil, which will probably be a problem in this spot during the summer. The alternative spot to move it to shouldn't be a problem water-wise, but I'm afraid it won't get enough sun. This spot only gets about half a day's sun, maybe 6 hours. I remember reading somewhere that if they don't get proper sun, the stalk won't stay upright? Is 6 hours enough? Basically, is it going to be worse off with less sun or less water? Thanks, Bryan

ANSWER:

You've probably hit the nail on the head of your problem already. Ten hours a day in a dry spot is a bit much for Liatris pycnostachya (prairie blazing star). Generally, six or more hours of sun a day is considered "full sun." Liatris is classified as a moist prairie flower. Putting it in the driest, sunniest part of your yard was likely a strain for the plant, especially newly placed in your garden. If you don't want to transplant now, try giving it more water, and then plan to move it to your moister spot with less sun in the Fall.


Liatris pycnostachya

Liatris pycnostachya

Liatris pycnostachya

Liatris pycnostachya

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native plants for north facing shaded bed in Austin
April 02, 2007 - I have a northfacing house in central Austin. I dug a large bed along the front that gets almost full shade. What native plants will thrive in that space?
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for shade in Peoria, Arizona
February 25, 2009 - My six-foot block wall is on the west side of my yard. There are two large shade trees in front of the wall. What kind of shrubs can I plant near this wall that only gets sun for about 2 hours in th...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control on partially shaded slope
November 27, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Atlanta, GA. My house is on a hill, and I am beginning to have erosion at my backyard porch (concrete slab, on the corners especially). The soil is mainly red clay, a...
view the full question and answer

Need a shade tree in a limited space in Louisville, GA
October 29, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Pants, Hello! What kind of tree would be good to shade, in a limited space, and having a taproot? This is in middle Ga. One side of yard has main water pipe coming in off the road and ...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping in shade in Round Rock, TX
May 04, 2010 - I have a flower bed that is 3' deep by 15' wide. It is in front of my front porch. Half of it only gets sun right now from about 3:30-5pm (a little filtered sun for maybe another hour). The other ha...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center