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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Something eating cannas in Austin
July 14, 2012 - What is eating my cannas?
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant plants for landscaping
November 13, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Our HOA is wanting to change the landscaping to Drought-tolerant plants and flowers. The area is Grayson County, south of Sherman Texas. What plants and flowers would you su...
view the full question and answer

Green blooms on Cedar Sage in Lucas TX
September 22, 2010 - I have two Cedar Sage (Salvia roemeriana) one purchased from your plant sale and one from a local nursery planted in part shade in the Dallas area. They seem to be quite happy and are blooming but ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for gravesite in Maryland
March 13, 2013 - I know this is very unusual question but here I go. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and I am looking for a low ground cover for my grandparents grave. The soil is very sandy and I am looking...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native artichoke from El Paso, TX
May 25, 2014 - I have a five year old artichoke plant in the ground that gets sun and some shade, has plenty of fertilizer and compost. Gets enough water. It has been beautiful in years past and last year had 10 a...
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