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How to Grow Gayfeather Flowers

Perennial,  Liatris Spicata

A member of the Aster family, Gayfeather flowers are a drought tolerant plant. Their nectar rich flowers will attract butterflies to your yard. Gayfeathers are native to the Eastern U.S.

Gayfeather plants grow to only about 2 - 3 feet in height. Their flower spikes will tower up to 6 feet..

Flowers bloom on the stem, opening from the top down. Colors are pink or white. Flowers will bloom in the second year.

If you are looking to save the seeds, be on the lookout for birds. They will eat the ripening seeds.

Plant Height: 4' - 6'

Plant Propagation:

Gayfeather plants are grown from seeds. They can be directly seeded into your flower garden, or started indoors for transplanting later. Sow Gayfeather seeds 6 - 8 weeks before the last frost in your area. Cover seeds lightly with 1/8" to 1/4" of fine garden or seed starting soil.

Ideal plant spacing is 8" -12".  Thin or transplant seedlings, if needed, when they reach 2"-3".

Plants can also be propagated by tuberous roots or crowns. Dig up, divide and re-plant tuberous roots every few years, to avoid over-crowding, and maximize plant growth and bloom.

Seeds are slow to germinate. If planted outdoors, the planting site should be well- marked.

Days to Germination: 20 - 45

How to Grow Gayfeather Plants:

Gayfeather plants grow best in full sun. They will tolerate a little light shade.

Grow plants in rich, well draining soil. Plants are drought tolerant. They do not do well, in soggy soils in winter. The roots rot.

Fertilize after the blooming period, with a general purpose fertilizer.

Water plants, only if there is an extended drought.

For a nearly maintenance-free garden, add mulch around plants.

After a few years, the plants will become over-crowded. Dig up tuberous roots, separate and replant them. If you have extras, give some to your gardening friends!

Insect and Disease:

Insect problems are uncommon.

Mildews can occur, especially in areas of low sunlight or poor air circulation.

More Information:

Also see: Blazing Star / Liatris


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