En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Why will my blazing stars not bloom in Syracuse New York?

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

Thursday - July 02, 2009

From: Syracuse, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Why will my blazing stars not bloom in Syracuse New York?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have two purple blazing star plants on the west side of my house, about 4 feet apart. They have bloomed the past two summers. This year, one is ready to bloom, but the other has no stalks that will bloom. It just has the leaves, but no stalks forming. What happened? Should I get a new plant? Will it bloom next year?

ANSWER:

"Blazing star" is a part of the common  name of 19 different plants in our Native Plant Datbase. Since you are writing from New York, Mr. Smarty Plants is guessing that you may have Liatris spicata (dense blazing star). Clicking on this link brings up its NPIN page where we can learn some things about this plant such as; its a perennial growing from 3 to 6 ft., it likes full sun, mosit soil, and slightly acidic soil (pH 6.8), and it attracts song birds and humming birds.

Since  your blazing stars were flowering and now they are not, you need to try to determine what has changed; are they getting less sun light?  Has the amount of watering changed?  Has the pH of the soil changed? All of these can affect flowering.

What about fertilization? Flowering is also affected by the ratio of Nitrogen to Phosphorus in the soil. If the nitrogen is higher than phosphorus, flowering is inhibited in many plants. If you use regular lawn fertiliser in your flower bed, or if lawn fertilizer accidently gets into the flower bed while you are fertilizing the lawn, the Nitrogen/Phosphorus ratio can get out of balance. This article from Gardening-Advisor  has some good advice about fertilizers and fertilizing.

For some help closer to home, you may want to contact the folks at the Onodaga County Office of Cornell Cooperative Extension.


Liatris spicata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Correct size for Wright penstemon from Granger TX
April 21, 2012 - The Wright penstemon pictured as your main plant, looks nothing like the other pictures below it. I realize, they can be pink or red. But the LARGE speciman out in your gardens is nowhere near the 1...
view the full question and answer

Salvia that needs dividing in Maryville MO
April 09, 2010 - I have some May Night salvia that is 3 years old. Last summer it split in the middle and spent a lot of the summer laid open. I'm wondering if it needs to be split or pruned in some way?
view the full question and answer

Dietes bicolor(Bicolor Iris) winter-hardiness in Austin
February 09, 2010 - I have many bi-color irises (dietes bicolor), the freeze in Austin turned them brown. Can I trim them back without harming the plants? If trimming is acceptable, can you give me tips?
view the full question and answer

Problems in germination of Asclepias tuberosa in New York
August 31, 2006 - I am a member of the Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College and I need information on Acleptis tuberosa. I am in USDA zone 6. Last year I planted fresh seeds purchased from Johnny's S...
view the full question and answer

Pollinator garden for Belen NM
May 16, 2012 - Trying to set up a flower garden to attract bees and butterflies. Can you tell me what would be best to grow. I live in Belen, NM.
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center