Liatris is excellent to grow if you have poor to average soil and space for a new meadow. This plant thrives in hardiness zone three to nine, making it suitable for both cold and hot climates.
But when to plant liatris bulbs? Their growing season is around March to May in the spring and October in the fall. Read below to narrow down your gardening dates.
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Best Time to Plant Liatris Bulbs
1. In the fall, after the first frost
Fall is the right time to plant liatris bulbs, as the season’s cool weather allows them to develop roots before flowering in the subsequent year.
To cultivate this perennial, look up your first frost and sow liatris corms the day after, when outdoor temperatures measure under 60℉.
Here are the freeze estimates of different hardiness zones to help plan your gardening.
- Zone 3 – September 15
- Zone 4 – October 7
- Zone 5 – October 21
- Zone 6 – October 31
- Zone 7 – November 15
- Zone 8 – November 28
- Zone 9 – December 13
2. In the spring, after the last frost
Another option for planting liatris bulbs is to sow them after the final frost in spring. Spring corms will develop well under warm weather, though you may need to wait until the second season to see blooms from them.
On a positive note, growers with mature liatris can use the flower’s offsets or corms for spring sowing instead of ordering new bulbs from nurseries.
Simply dig up and separate the corms from the plant, making sure each division has one eye and that the corm feels firm but not dry.
The digging may take place in spring or fall, but it’s necessary to store liatris bulbs in damp peat moss under 35℉ if you pick the colder season. With a spring schedule, we can separate and grow the corms immediately.
Whichever method you choose, here are the average last frosts for different hardiness zones where this flower grows. March to May would be the ideal timing for liatris bulb planting if we look at the listed dates.
- Zone 3 – May 16
- Zone 4 – May 12
- Zone 5 – April 30
- Zone 6 – April 21
- Zone 7 – April 3
- Zone 8 – March 28
- Zone 9 – February 28
When to Plant Liatris Seeds and Potted Starts?
If you opt for liatris seeds and starts instead of bulbs, note down these tips for successful gardening.
- Transplant liatris starts after the final frost, similar to sowing corms.
- When using seeds, put them in the fridge six to eight weeks before the last frost. The temperature should be in the lower thirties for four to six weeks before the seeds are sown in pots with container soil under a temperature of 50℉.
After liatris seedlings appear and frost has vanished, you can move the plants outdoors.
Tips for Successful Liatris Bulb Planting
To ensure optimal liatris growing conditions, here are some guidelines to follow.
- Find a spot with six hours of full sun and well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Rich amended soil is not recommended, as liatris tends to flop over in such a medium.
- The planting hole should be two to four inches deep and twice as wide as the roots of the corm.
- Additionally, the bulbs themselves must be 12 inches apart to ensure adequate aeration and avoid fungal diseases.
- After sowing, backfill the planting area and water the soil so that it’s damp. Unless the garden plot is very dry, wait until sprouts appear to irrigate again at a rate of one inch of water per week.
- Fertilize in spring with a balanced formula if growth is poor. We recommend a slow-release product in this case.
Liatris bloom time is mid to late summer, approximately 70 days to three months after planting.
With knowledge on when to plant liatris bulbs, you can decorate your home with blooms of various colors, such as purple, pink, and white, accompanied by bright green foliage.
Liatris bulbs also pair well with zinnias, dahlias, and purple coneflowers, so they’re great ornamentals to have in yards.
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