dear liatris, will you ever bloom?

david883(5/6)June 25, 2013

I received this liatris from a friend's plant exchange last May. It didn't bloom last year so I was sure 2013 would be its year. So far.... nothing. Its in a spot that gets sun from approximately 7 or 8am to 2pm so it gets around 6 hours of sun. Does it need more sun maybe? Am I being impatient (what, me?! NEVER!) Any insight would be appreciated. I'd love to see it bloom finally!

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Might be a bit early for blooms this season--my liatris is up but has yet to even produce buds, let alone blooms. It normally blooms in mid-summer. I don't worry about it--seems to be one of those thrive-on-neglect perennials in my garden.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 7:02AM
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roxanna(z5b MA)

"thrive on neglect" is right! i've had one in a terrible spot for years with dry, poor soil. usually i get one or two bloom stalks, but this year there are five!! i think it's due to the more-than copious rainfall we have had here the past month (more than 8 inches). i suppose i ought to take note of that and relocate the poor thing to a better spot....and feed it!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 8:21AM
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tepelus(6a SW MI)

Depends on which kind, some bloom earlier in the summer, other bloom later into August or September. They're not spring blooming anyway, July is about the time the earlier ones start blooming, at least up around here. And if it's a young plant, they can take two to three years to bloom anyway. It will bloom, when it's ready.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 8:55AM
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terrene(5b MA)

David 6 hours of sun sounds like a good amount for Liatris. If you got a division from a mature plant it should bloom this year. If you got a seedling, not sure.

My Liatris spicata 'Kobold' and L. pychnostachya have sent up blooming shoots already, however, no flowers have opened yet. These were started from seed and in my experience it takes 2 or 3 years to get a decent sized plant with a few blooms from seed.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 7:29PM
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It was a division from a larger one (I assume anyway). I figured it wouldn't bloom last year but I've been checking it this year... I should probably stop checking on it so it doesn't get any wise ideas and holds off blooming just to show me up. I'll leave it alone so it thrives on my neglect lol

thanks everyone

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 8:52PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Give it more time. Liatris of some sorts are said to be valuable nectar sources for Monarch butterflies as they head back to Mexico for the winter. So, those must be later blooming plants. I have two year-old transplants that are just getting buds now. I also have L. Ligulastylis which is the same age as the others, but has no sign of buds yet.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 10:06PM
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Thanks, Martha. That is a definite plus that they attract monarchs. I don't know much about butterfly gardening but I have been reading a few things. I guess I'll leave it alone for now.... sometimes patience is so hard!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:03AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Did your liatris bloom? Mine is about one week into what will probably be 4-6 weeks of bloom. It started at the tip and the bloom moves down the stalk. The first day there was a bloom open, I returned home from work to find a Monarch nectaring intensely. I could walk right up to it and it barely noticed me. That was the second Monarch I've seen all summer.

I hope you enjoy your liatris as much as I'm enjoying mine.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Hi Martha - Well... kind of embarrassing... it's not liatris at all. I received it from a plant exchange and it was labeled as liatris but its actually liriope. I got a little suspicious after I saw a neighbor's blooming profusely and growing tall (compared what mine looked like). After a little more digging... liriope it is. Ugh. Its the second plant that I got that was blatantly mislabeled that, only due to my inexperience, I fell for. But the liriope isn't bad, just not quite what I was hoping for. I'll probably look into getting some seeds or a plant on the exchange forum because I do still want one, especially knowing the butterflies love it. I've started reworking a small bed into a small butterfly garden, which is where the liatirs (oops... liriope) is so I'll probably move that and get some real liatris there.

Glad yours is attracting monarchs! Just more incentive to get some!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:04PM
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