How to Grow Liatris Plants

Guide to Growing Blazing Star, Gay Feather, and Prairie Snake Root

Liatris are hardy perennials that reach between 60 cm to 1.8 m (2 to 6 feet) in height.

They flower from the summer until the early months of autumn. The flower stems of Liatris carry purple or white flowers.

These plants are useful for growing in the garden borders.

Some of the common varieties of Liatris include Prairie snake root, Blazing star, Button snake root, and Gay feather.

Also check out the How to Grow Liatris spicata Guide.

Liatris spicata
Liatris spicata - Blazing Star by Wallygrom.

Liatris Growing Video

Liatris Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Blazing Star, Gay Feather, Button Snake Root, Prairie Pine, Prairie Snake Root.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 10 to 60 inches (25 to 150 cm).
Native: Northern America.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10.

Flowers: Summer and early autumn.
Flower Details: White, Purple. Colour tipped inflorescences. Disc florets.
Foliage: Hairy. Alternate. Narrow.

Sow Outside: Cover seed. Start of spring - before the last frost, or early in autumn. Spacing 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: three to four weeks. Temperature: 55 to 75°F (13 to 24°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements and care: Full sunlight or light shade. Soil pH 5.5 to 7.5. Poor soil, sandy soil, loam. Can survive in dry soils.
Regular watering during dry periods. Top-dress with gravel to protect from rot. Spring manure mulch. Propagate: by dividing in the spring.

    Family: Asteraceae (Compositae).
    Similar Species: Achillea, Aster, Callistephus, Cosmea, Helianthus, Leontopodium, Liatris, Sanvitalia, Stokesia, Townsendia, and Zinnia.
    Miscellaneous: Attracts butterflies such as the monarch and Swallowtail.

How to Grow Prairie Snake Root, Blazing Star and other Liatris species

The seeds of Prairie snake root and other Liatris members can be sown in either early or autumn or before the last frost of spring.

Once sown, the seeds should be lightly covered.

Liatris plants can be grown in sunny and lightly shaded areas. Ideally Liatris plant species should be grown in a sandy, loamy soil of pH 5.5 to 7.5.

It is very important that the ground that Liatris grows in has very good drainage.

If you plan to first grow Liatris indoors as seedlings, then they should be prepared about two months before they are due to be put outside.

They will take about three weeks to germinate at 12 to 24 degrees Centigrade (54 to 75°F).

Caring for Liatris plants

Once growing Liatris are fairly easy to care for and maintain.

They require regular watering during prolonged dry spells.

Once the flowering period is over cut off the flowering stems to tidy up the plant.

If you require more Liatris plants then they can be propagated by division in the spring.

Common Questions

How many members does the Liatris genus have?

The Liatris genus, often called blazing star or gayfeather, consists of about 40 species. These perennial plants are known for their tall, feathery blooms.

Do members of Liatris make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Liatris species make excellent garden plants. Their bright and tall flowers are great for adding vertical interest and attracting pollinators.

Which Liatris species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The species Liatris spicata (Dense Blazing Star) and Liatris pycnostachya (Prairie Blazing Star) are popular choices for gardeners.

Are members of the Liatris plant genus fragrant?

Liatris plants are not primarily known for their fragrance, but their vibrant and unique flowers are a feast for the eyes.

What is the perfect location to grow Liatris?

Liatris plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They are drought-tolerant and do well in a variety of garden settings.

Is Liatris invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Liatris species are not considered invasive in the USA. They are native to North America and beneficial to local ecosystems.

How do I remove Liatris plants from my garden?

To remove Liatris plants, dig out the entire plant, including the root system, to ensure it doesn't grow back.


The Liatris plant genus, part of the Asteraceae family, includes perennial plants native to North America. They have tall spikes of feathery, purple flowers. In the garden, these plants are often used in borders. They are often seen in meadows, and are commonly known as Blazing stars.

Liatris enjoys full sunlight and a well-drained soil. Plants are drought-tolerant once established. Propagation is typically done through seeds or division. This is best donein the spring or fall.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Liatris plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Echinacea purpurea, Veltheimia plant, and Solidago plants.