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
1 rating

Monday - October 05, 2009

From: Lexington, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Cold hardiness of Liatris bulbs
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I live in Lexington KY - This spring I planted Liatris or Blazing Stars. Should I take up the bulbs and replant in spring or leave them in the ground?

ANSWER:

Great plant choice!!  Liatris is a tough, drought tolerant plant that attracts butterflies (but not deer) and really stands out in a perennial bed.

Definitely leave it in the ground ... there are many species of Liatris native to North America with a very broad range.  It is likely that your plant is the popular Liatris spicata (dense blazing star) which is native from Florida to Quebec and all the states in between.

However, it is a bit late to emerge in the spring and in my experience in Zone 4 there are just a few tufts visible above ground when the snow melts ... so leave the tag in and you won't accidentally destroy it during enthusiastic spring planting! Each year it will put up more flower stalks and the bulb clump can be divided every few years.  Be sure it is planted in a spot with good drainage ... the bulb will rot in wet soil.

 

More Propagation Questions

Transplanting and grafting pecan in Granbury TX
May 18, 2010 - I found several native pecans on my property this spring. Apparently they grew from nuts buried by squirrels. I put small protective fences around them and plan to dig and move them (bare root) next...
view the full question and answer

Breaking dormancy of native seeds
November 22, 2006 - The science of seed preservation seems to be well advanced. However, Jill Nokes' book appears to be the only well-known information about breaking dormancy of native seeds. I'm grateful that she w...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Shumard oak in San Antonio
May 18, 2010 - Hello. I live in San Antonio and Have a question about a Shumard Red Oak. It's growing at an average pace, seems a little more vigorous this year. It's a nice tree with great fall colors. HOWEVER, w...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Lupinus havardii seeds from Elmendorf TX
April 25, 2014 - I have been able to grow several Lupinus havardii (Big Bend Bluebonnet) and they are now making seed. Is there anyway to determine if a seed is good or bad for this plant?
view the full question and answer

Planting time for native yucca seeds
August 11, 2008 - When and how do you plant yucca plant seeds and or/pods ? I took them off of the stalks when I cut the stalks today .
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