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

Tuesday - July 26, 2011

From: Norman, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning
Title: Is Liatris spicata through blooming from Norman OK
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a Liatris spicata, I thought it was done blooming (dried tops), so I cut them off. Will it come back and bloom again? What can I do?

ANSWER:

Liatris spicata (Dense blazing star) is listed on our webpage on this plant as blooming  July, August and September. This plant grows clear up to Canada and blooming dates vary with the USDA Hardiness Zone in which they are being grown. They may start early in the cycle here, where it is so hot, and later up north, where they may not begin to bloom until August. Due to the incredible heat and drought we are having, plants are trying to bloom just enough to set seeds, and then settling in to try to survive. Cutting the dead blooms back was probably the right thing to do, it will take some of the burden off of the plant roots. It still needs leaves to provide nutrition for the roots, and you want to keep the roots alive because this is a perennial and will bloom again next year. Don't fertilize it-fertilizer encourages a plant to grow more leaves, and plants are all under enough stress trying to stay alive right now. We don't need to be adding to that stress by trying to push them into growing more. Keep it evenly watered and hope that next year will be more moderate.

 

From the Image Gallery


Dense blazing star
Liatris spicata

Dense blazing star
Liatris spicata

More Pruning Questions

Arrows and Hunting Dogs in Kentucky
December 09, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants--Is it normal for our arrowwood viburnum to give off a musky odour in the late fall? The smell reminds me of a wet hunting dog.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on pruning Clematis
August 26, 2005 - I would like to know about pruning clematis. The one I have is getting very large. Should I cut it back, and if so, in the Spring or Fall? I live in Michigan. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Lifespan and pruning of cedar elm in San Antonio
October 03, 2009 - How long do cedar elm trees live? How can you estimate the age of one, or tell if it is nearing the end of its normal lifespan? Do you have any recommendations for selecting someone to prune it proper...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Texas Mountain Laurel
November 12, 2009 - How much can I prune a 10 year old mountain laurel to re-shape it and when?
view the full question and answer

Poverty plant overgrown in Austin
June 06, 2012 - We have a poverty plant that is too big for its space in our yard. We like it and want to keep it. Can it be transplanted easily? What about pruning it.
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