Mentzelia Plant Info – Learn About Blazing Star Plants And Care

Mentzelia blazing star
Image by Arvind Kumar

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

What is Mentzelia blazing star? This blazing star (not to be confused with Liatris blazing star) is a showy annual with fragrant, star-shaped blooms that open in evening. The satiny, sweet-smelling flowers will bloom profusely from mid spring to early autumn. Read on for more information about blazing star flowers and how to grow them.

Mentzelia Plant Info

Mentzelia wildflowers (Mentzelia lindleyi) grow in open, sunny areas, primarily sagebrush-steppe, mountain brush and dry, rocky areas in several western states. Blazing star plants are found east of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon and Washington, and in California, Arizona and New Mexico, among others. This tough, adaptable plant grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 10.

Blazing star plant is also known as stickleaf, a well-deserved nickname for the barbed stem hairs that don’t hurt but adhere to socks, pants and sleeves like glue. Mentzelia blazing star is highly attractive to important pollinators such as native bees and butterflies.

Growing Mentzelia Flowers

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Blazing star plants are nearly impossible to grow by division, due to the plant’s ultra-long taproots. If you want to try your hand at growing Mentzelia wildflowers, seeds provide the best chance of success. If you have access to a healthy stand of Mentzelia wildflowers, you can harvest a few seeds. However, be sure not to trample the ground around the plants, and never harvest more than you need. Be sure not to harvest seeds from protected areas either. Better yet, purchase blazing star seeds from a greenhouse or nursery that specializes in native plants or wildflowers.

Scatter the seeds outdoors in loose, sandy or rocky soil as soon as the weather warms in spring. Cover the seeds with a very thin layer of soil, then keep the soil consistently moist until the seeds sprout. Thin the plants to a distance of 15 to 18 inches when the seedlings are 2 to 3 inches tall.

Once blazing star plants are established, they tolerate dry soil, extreme heat and poor soil. However, it benefits from regular irrigation during the blooming season.

For a long-lasting display, cut the flowers down to about 2 inches after the first flush of blooms. Mentzelia wildflowers are annuals, so save a few seeds late in the blooming season for planting next year. However, if you’re lucky, the plant may self-seed.

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