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

Failure to bloom of Tecoma stans in Austin
August 02, 2008 - We Planted a Yellow Esperanza shrub 2 years ago that was blooming when we purchased it. It bloomed very little last year and not at all this year. It looks very healthy and each year gets about 10 f...
view the full question and answer

Non-native pomegranate failing to fruit from Highland Village TX
October 20, 2012 - Last spring I planted a pomegranate tree (type: Wonderful) which is supposed to produce edible fruit. It had 5 or 6 absolutely beautiful blooms, but each of them dropped off and no sign of fruit. Is...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Texas Mountain Laurel in Dallas
May 04, 2010 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is about 3 years old. When I bought it 2 summers ago, it was about a foot high. Now it is over 6 feet. It seems to have grown so fast that the branches can't ke...
view the full question and answer

Northern Catalpa Tree Doing Poorly
July 02, 2014 - One of our Northern Catalpa trees appears to be dying. It is about 28 feet tall and this year only about 1/3 of it is producing leaves. It is next to our largest Catalpa tree (about 65 feet tall and a...
view the full question and answer

pruning crape myrtle (ugh, non-native)
March 05, 2012 - We would like to plant a Dynamite Crape myrtle in front of our front window. They grow 20' to 30'. Can I trim it each year to about 15' to 20'? Should we plant it approximately 5 feet from the ...
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