How to Grow Rattlesnake Master

Overview

Rattlesnake master, or Eryngium yuccifolium, is a perennial plant that grows to be between 2 and 5 five feet tall and blooms in mid-to-late summer. It has an unbranched central stem, with most leaves located near the base. The leaves are long and stiff. Rattlesnake master is identified by its prickly balls of flowers. The entire plant is greyish-green or blue in color with whiteish-green flower balls that are 1/2 to 1 inch in width. Each flower has five white petals, a pistil and stamens. In bright sunlight, rattlesnake master produce a sickly, honey-like scent.

Step 1

Choose a planting location that is in the full sun with moist to slight dry conditions. The rattlesnake master may topple over if grown in shadier spots.

Step 2

Make sure the soil contains a mix of sand, loam, gravel or clay, and that no standing water is present.

Step 3

Use a chemical weed control or excavating hand tools to prepare a weed-free seedbed. Pack it down to ensure a firm planing space.

Step 4

Plant the seeds 1/4 inch deep in the fall. Use fertilizer in the establishment year only if there is a severe deficiency of phosphorus or potassium in the soil. Water thoroughly.

Step 5

Reduce weeds by using herbicides or mowing. Don't use nitrogen during the first year, as it can encourage the growth of weeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Chemical weed control
  • Hand tools
  • Soil mix
  • Seeds
  • Herbicides

References

  • Illinois Wildflowers
  • Easy Wildflowers
  • Dave's Garden
Keywords: rattlesnake master, rattlesnakemaster, perennial

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.