How to Plant Liatris Spicata


Liatris spicata is commonly called gayfeather. The flower spikes reach up to 3 feet tall and are covered in small pink, blue or white flowers. A perennial, the Liatris blooms from June until early fall. It is drought-tolerant and grows well in most areas of the United States, though it should be mulched heavily in regions with extremely cold winters.

Step 1

Prepare the garden bed in spring after the last expected frost date in your area. Choose a well-draining bed in full sun. Spread a 2-inch layer of compost over the bed and till it in to 8 inches to improve drainage.

Step 2

Sow corms, which resemble small bulbs, with the pointed sides up in 5-inch-deep holes. Cover each corm with soil and firm it lightly with your hands. Space corms 2 to 4 inches apart in clusters or rows.

Step 3

Water weekly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. After the plant begins blooming, allow the soil surface to dry slightly between waterings.

Step 4

Spread a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the plants to preserve moisture and prevent weeds. Spread 4 inches of straw mulch over the bed if winter mulching is required.

Step 5

Cut off the foliage with sharp shears once it has yellowed after the first frost and dispose of it.

Tips and Warnings

  • Soggy soil will cause the corms to rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Shears


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
  • Washington State University Extension
Keywords: growing Liatris spicata, planting gayfeather corms, perennial bulb flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.