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Mentzelia Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

Article by Dean Ravenscroft, Ph.D. - Updated 28th Oct 2023

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Mentzelia plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

At a Glance: Mentzelia
  • Plant Characteristics: Mentzelia features bright yellow flowers that stand out vibrantly against the evening sky. Their luminescent glow provides a stunning visual treat for gardens.
  • Ideal Growing Conditions: Plants flourish in well-drained soil and require ample sunlight. They have a preference for dry and rocky habitats.
  • General Care: Water moderately, ensuring the soil dries out between watering. Deadheading spent flowers can encourage more blooms.
  • Tips for New Gardeners: Blazing star is a resilient plant suitable for beginners. Its barbed seeds stick to clothing, so be cautious during seed collection.

Blazing Stars, Moonflowers, & Stickleafs: Cultivation & Garden Use

Members of the Mentzelia plant genus are hardy annuals and hardy biennials that reach from 45 cm to 1.2 m (18 inches to 6 feet) in height.

Mentzelia have a bushy nature. They carry golden cup shaped flowers that bloom in the early summer.

A common name for Mentzelia is Blazing Star.

Mentzelia involucrata
Mentzelia involucrata - Sand Blazing Star by MiguelVieira; creative commons.

Mentzelia pectinata
Mentzelia pectinata - San Joaquin blazing star by Steveberardi; cc.

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Mentzelia Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Blazing Stars, Stickleafs, Moonflowers, Evening Stars, Yellowcomet. Blazing Star: Shining; Spinyhair; San Luis; Sand; White Bract; Grass; Whitestem.
Family: Loasaceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual. Hardy biennial. Hardy perennial.
Height: 2 to 40 inches (5 to 100 cm).
Native: Americas.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Yellow, cream, orange. Cup-shaped.
Foliage: Basel rosette. Lobed. Irregularly toothed.
Sow Outside: Cover seed. Warm areas: start of spring or in autumn. Cooler areas: following the last frost. Spacing 4 to 10 inches (10 to 25 cm). Germination time: one to three weeks. Temperature 55°F (13°C).
Sow Inside: No.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Soil pH 5.5 to 8. Rich soil. Moist soil. Can survive in dry soils. Regular feed. Regular watering. Cut back after first bloom for a chance of a second.

How to Grow Blazing Star and other Mentzelia plants in the Garden

It is best to grow blazing star (Mentzelia) outdoors from seeds, or by planting blazing star plants purchased from a garden center.

Sow the seeds out after the last frost of spring (in very warm areas, seeds can be sown in the autumn). Cover the blazing star seeds once sown.

Mentzelia plants like to grow in a sunny area that has good drainage.

Blazing star has a preference for a fertile soil that is moist and has a pH of 5 to 8.

Caring for Blazing star in the Garden

Blazing Star is an easy plant to grow and maintain in the garden. For best results water regularly to keep soil moist and feed often.

Once the Mentzelia plant has bloomed cut back the plant to about 50 cm (20 inches), this may result in another bloom.

Common Questions

How many members does the Mentzelia genus contain?

The Mentzelia genus contains approximately 60 to 100 species.

Do Mentzelia members make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, certain Mentzelia species can make interesting additions to rock gardens or wildflower plantings for their unique, star-like flowers.

Which Mentzelia species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species is the Blazing Star or Giant Blazing Star (Mentzelia laevicaulis) due to its showy, white flowers.

Are Mentzelia plants fragrant?

Mentzelia plants are not generally noted for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Mentzelia?

Mentzelia prefer full sun locations with well-draining soil. They are particularly well-suited to rocky or sandy soil conditions.

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

Currently, Mentzelia is not listed as invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Mentzelia plants from my garden?

Mentzelia plants can be removed by carefully digging up the entire plant, making sure all the roots are taken out to prevent regrowth.

Summary

Mentzelia is a genus in the Loasaceae family, comprising species often referred to as stickleafs or blazing stars. These plants are known for their showy, star-shaped flowers and sticky leaves.

For optimal growth, Mentzelia plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Plant them in early spring and water moderately. They are generally drought-tolerant, making them an excellent choice for xeriscaping or dry garden landscapes.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Mentzelia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow buttercups, Zinnia angustifolia, Uvularia plant, and Pulsatilla plants.

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