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July 2010
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Gayfeather, Blazing Star: characteristics, growing and planting conditions, uses and care.

Gayfeather is an erect perennial herb, native to the midwestern United States, with flowers arranged on a thick spike. The spike can be purple or white, and the two planted together with coneflowers, artemesia and agastache create striking color, texture and shape to your garden.
Gayfeather is easy to grow and long-lasting in the garden. Attracts butterflies, attracts birds, good cut flower, deer resistant, good dried flower. It grows to a height of 2 – 4 feet.

Growing and Planting Conditions

– Light Requirements : Full sun
– Soil : Dry to moist soils but prefers sandy or clay soils with a pH of neutral to alkaline.
– Wet winter soil will usually kill the plants.
– Once established, it is fairly drought tolerant.
– Plant in Spring or fall in a sunny location.
– Space plants 12″ – 15″ apart.
– Prepare soil by removing weeds and cultivating to loosen the soil.
– Spread seeds evenly over prepared soil.
– Pressing or rolling seeds onto soil will help improve germination rate. – Keep soil slightly moist until seedlings are established.
– Large clumps should be dug and divided in the Spring, every three to four years.
– The divisions, or other new plants should be set 15 inches apart, in rich, slightly sandy soil.
– Propagation is done by division of older plants in spring or from seed.


– Dead-head spent flowers after blooming and cut back to ground level in fall.
– Divide in spring if necessary.
– Seeds are produced in late summer.
– Fertilize with Plant-tone or a water soluble fertilizer as recommended.
– The liatris is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, or fertilizers.


– It is excellent as cut flowers.
– It is best used as a tall border, or naturalized and in wildflower meadows.

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