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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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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.

 

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