En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Pruning mature cedar elm trees in San Antonio
September 14, 2008 - When is the right time to prune my several mature cedar elm trees? I'm in San Antonio, and they have never been trimmed in the 55 years we have lived in this home. I have several that are at least 7...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to esperanza in pot from Brady TX
December 10, 2009 - My esperanza, currently in a container, has suffered some freeze damage. I have prepared a planting spot for it and am not sure whether to plant now, trim it back if I do plant it, etc. I would appr...
view the full question and answer

Pruning time for Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus)
February 13, 2006 - Gentlemen: I have a Texas Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus). It's doing very well & I wish to prune it before its leaves come out. I understand there are a few trees you don't prune, among them birch. I...
view the full question and answer

Time to trim oak trees in Austin
October 29, 2011 - We have several large oak trees in desperate need of a good trimming. Given that the trees have had a very stressful drought year, when would be the best time to trim them?
view the full question and answer

Goldenrod not blooming in Lecanto FL
September 19, 2010 - My goldenrod(fireworks) grows only like a groundcover(3" tall) and does not flower. It is in full sun in my garden in Lecanto, Florida(zone 9A). What could be wrong? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center