Can Liatris Grow In Pots: Learn About Container Liatris Plants

Bumble Bee On A Purple Liatris Blazing Star Plant
(Image credit: Terry Wilson)

Liatris is a native perennial notable for its spiky, bright purple, bottlebrush flowers borne atop the lush grass-like leaves that blossom in the late summer. Found growing in prairies or grasslands, liatris is also at home in the garden, but can liatris grow in pots? Yes, liatris can grow in pots and, in fact, growing liatris plants in containers makes a show stopping tableau. Read on to find out about container grown liatris and caring for potted liatris.

Planting Liatris in Pots

Liatris belongs to the aster family that is made up of around 40 different species and is also known as gayfeather and blazing star. Hardy in USDA zone 3, the three most commonly cultivated in gardens are L. aspera, L. pycnostachya, and L. spicata. You may very well be familiar with liatris due to its prominence in the cut flower industry. The purple spike of liatris can be found in pricey high-end bouquets, less costly supermarket floral arrangements, and even in dried flower arrangements. I love cut flowers but am totally against spending a fortune on something that will only last a short while, which is why liatris (along with a slew of other cut flower perennials) adorns my garden. If you are lacking in garden space, try planting liatris in pots. There are a couple of advantages to container grown liatris. First of all, gayfeather is an easy to grow perennial. This means caring for liatris is simple and the plant will die back in the winter but return vigorously the next year. Growing perennials in pots, in general, is a wonderful way to save time and money since they return year after year. Depending on the species, liatris arises from a corm, rhizome, or elongated root crown. The small blooms open from the top to bottom on the 1 to 5 foot (31 cm. to 1.5 m.) spike. The tall spear of flowers also attracts butterflies and other pollinators and is drought resistant for those of you who forget to water your pots.

Growing Liatris Plants in Containers

Liatris prefers light sandy to loamy well-draining soil in full sun to light shade. My liatris came from dividing my sister’s plant, but it can also be propagated by seed. Seeds need a chill period in order to germinate. Collect seeds and sow them in flats to remain outdoors over the winter. Germination will take place as temperatures begin to warm up in the spring. You may also mix the seeds into slightly moist sand in a plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator after harvesting them. Remove the seeds after two months and sow them in flats in a greenhouse. Sow the seedlings outside in containers after all danger of frost has passed for your area. Other than occasional watering of your liatris, there’s not much else the plant requires.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.