How to Grow Gayfeather Flower Plants

Blazing Star, Gayfeather

About Growing Gayfeather Plants in Your Home Flower Garden

Perennial Gayfeather flowers are members of the Aster family. It is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant. Their nectar-rich flowers will attract butterflies to your yard. Gayfeather plants are native to the Eastern U.S. They put on a really showy display. If you are not yet growing gayfeather flowers, what are you waiting for!?

The Gayfeather plant itself grows to only about 2 – 3 feet in height. Their tall flower spikes will tower up to 6 feet.

Flowers bloom on the stem, opening from the top down. 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.

Flowers Bloom: Late summer to early fall.

Flower Colors: Lavender, Pink, purple, and white.

Plant Height: 4′ – 6′

Other Names: Blazing Star, Liatris

Perennial,  Liatris Spicata

Perennial Gayfeather 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.

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

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.

The plants look their best in small groups. Moreover, if you can keep the colors separate prior to planting, you can create an eye-catching color pattern. 

Days to Germination: 20 – 45 days.

How to Grow Gayfeather Flower 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. Water them only during extended periods of drought.

The plants do not do well, in soggy soils in winter. The roots rot.

Keep the plants well-weeded when they are still small.

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

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

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

Ideal Soil pH: 5.5 – 7.0.

Insects and Plant Disease

Insect problems are uncommon.

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

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