The How to Grow It Project

How to Grow Liatris Scariosa 'Gracious'

Liatris scariosa

This one plant had about a dozen flower spikes and these are some of the shorter ones on the plant. As you can see butterflies, in this case a red admiral, are fond of the plant.

Almost every liatris you can get will be L. spicata and it will be bred to grow 1.5 to 3 feet tall, too short if you ask me since I've seen them in our forest preserves reaching up to 6 feet tall. Thompson and Morgan rated L. scariosa at 3-5 feet so I had to give it a try. Out of a packet of 50 or so seeds only two came up. I wrote Thompson and Morgan and 6 days later they sent me a second packet of seeds, NONE of which came up. (I collected seeds from my plants and gotten much better germination rates!!!) The first year they remained simply a cluster of leaves close to the ground. They look quite similar to L. spicata, but for the first few years the overall effect was not as dramatic since the flower clusters are not as dense. After several years they are impressive. So far they have only managed to get as high as 3 feet 3 inches tall. They bloom around July/August about the same time as L. spicata.

They can get mildew so arrange for them to be in a sunny location where there is good air circulation. The roots are bulb-like and can rot away. To keep up your supply of plants let them go to seed and/or divide them in the spring. To divide mine I simply sawed a bulb in half, pulled out one half and let the other half remain in place. Probably you should be careful and sterilize the saw with bleach before each operation.

If you have any questions or comments, write me.

Up To Don's How to Grow It Collection

To Don's Home Page