Blazing Star

Liatris spicata

Family: Blazing Star

Type: Perennial

Other Common Name: Dense Blazing Star, Marsh Gayfeather

Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Star’, commonly known as Blazing Star or Gayfeather, is a striking perennial known for its tall, spikey blooms. It’s a favorite for its vibrant purple flowers and statuesque appearance.

This perennial brings vertical interest and a pop of color to any garden setting. Its tall, dense flower spikes are a magnet for butterflies and bees, adding life and movement to the garden.

Thriving in full sun, Blazing Star is hardy in zones 3-9. It prefers well-draining soil and is drought-tolerant once established, making it a resilient choice for various garden conditions.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 2b-3a

Deer Resistant: Yes

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Dry to moist

Sun Needs: Full sun

Drought Tolerance (Xeriscape): Yes

Growth

Growth Rate: Fast

Average Height (feet): 5

Average Spread (feet): 1.5

Average Life Span (years): 10

Form: Towering

Ornamental

Flower Color: Purple

Secondary Flower Color: Pink

Bloom Season: From early to mid summer

Foliage Color: Green

Foliage Shape: Grassy

Landscaping Your Yard With Blazing Star

Incorporating Blazing Star into your garden design offers a dramatic display of height and color. Its tall flower spikes create an eye-catching focal point in any garden.

This plant is ideal for use in borders, wildflower gardens, and as a cut flower in bouquets. It’s particularly effective when planted in groups, creating a striking visual impact.

Despite its impressive appearance, Blazing Star is relatively low maintenance. It’s a great choice for gardeners looking for a long-blooming perennial that requires minimal care.

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Suitable Garden Styles

Cottage Garden

In cottage gardens, Blazing Star adds height and structure. Its natural, wildflower-like appearance fits perfectly in these informal settings.

Pollinator Garden

For pollinator gardens, Blazing Star is an excellent choice. Its nectar-rich flowers attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Contemporary Garden

In contemporary gardens, Blazing Star's architectural form and bold color can be used to create striking patterns and contrasts.

Blazing Star Landscaping Ideas

Plant it in the back of borders for a vertical accent. Its height makes it an ideal backdrop for shorter plants.

Use it in a mass planting for a dramatic effect. Large groupings of Blazing Star create a sea of purple in the summer.

Combine it with other sun-loving perennials. Grasses, coneflowers, and black-eyed Susans make great companions.

Seasonal Interest

Spring

In spring, Blazing Star starts to grow its foliage, setting the stage for the blooms to come.

Summer

During summer, it blooms with tall, purple spikes, adding a vertical dimension and vibrant color to the garden.

Fall

In the fall, the flowers may fade, but the plant still adds structure to the garden as it prepares for dormancy.

Winter

In winter, Blazing Star dies back. This period of dormancy is essential for the plant's lifecycle and prepares it for blooming in the next season.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Blazing Star thrives in full sun areas, perfect for open, sunny borders, wildflower gardens, or any spot that receives a lot of daylight.

Light

This perennial requires full sun to bloom profusely. At least six hours of direct sunlight each day is optimal for the healthiest growth and most vibrant flowers.

Soil

Blazing Star prefers well-draining soil and is adaptable to various soil types, though it thrives in slightly moist conditions.

Spacing

Space Blazing Star plants about 12 to 18 inches apart. This spacing allows for mature growth and proper air circulation, which is vital for their tall spikes.

When to Plant

The best time to plant Blazing Star is in the spring or early fall, allowing the roots to establish before extreme weather.

How to Plant

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Place the plant in the hole, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly. Plant at the same depth it was in the container.

Plant Care Tips

Watering

Regular watering is essential, especially during dry spells. The soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged.

Fertilizing

Fertilize in early spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to promote vigorous growth and abundant blooms.

Pruning

Deadheading spent blooms can encourage more flowers. Cut back foliage in late fall or early winter after the plant dies back.

By Season

Spring Care

In spring, clear away any dead foliage, apply mulch to retain moisture, and start regular watering as new growth appears.

Summer Care

Continue watering and deadheading throughout the summer to maintain vibrant blooms and healthy foliage.

Fall Care

After the first frost, you can cut the plant back to the ground. This helps prepare it for winter dormancy.

Winter Care

Blazing Star is dormant in winter. Apply a layer of mulch for protection, especially in colder climates.

FAQ

How Tall Does Blazing Star Grow?

Blazing Star typically reaches heights of 2 to 4 feet, making it a striking addition to any garden.

Is Blazing Star Deer Resistant?

Yes, Blazing Star is generally deer-resistant, making it a good choice for gardens in deer-prone areas.

Can Blazing Star Be Divided?

Yes, Blazing Star can be divided every few years in early spring or fall to maintain vigor and control its spread.

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