Messages posted to thread:

Corinne08-Feb-03 02:08 PM EST 3   
Ed08-Feb-03 08:47 PM EST 5a   
Corinne15-Feb-03 01:11 PM EST 3   
Ed15-Feb-03 10:58 PM EST 5a   
PatA21-Feb-03 04:13 PM EST 3a   
sandy21-Feb-03 06:21 PM EST 3b   

Subject: Help for Liatris
From: Corinne
Zone: 3
Date: 08-Feb-03 02:08 PM EST

Hello, I'm looking for some advice on growing liatris in Edmonton. I just bought a box of 75 liatris bulbs (at least I think they're bulbs!). It is now Feb. 8 and I'm wondering what I should do with them? Should I plant them in individual pots right now, (or maybe plant them in clusters)? Or should I wait until May and plant them directly into the flower bed? If so, where should I store them so the bulbs don't rot? Right now I have one liatris plant in my garden and it never blooms until late August. Do anyone have any tips on how to get the plants to flourish? Thanks for any help you can provide.

Subject: RE: Help for Liatris
From: Ed
Zone: 5a
Date: 08-Feb-03 08:47 PM EST

Corinne, I will try to help, but never having seen Liatris other than as perennial plants sold during the planting season, I have to ask: I. Where did you purchase them ? 2. Were planting instructions not provided with the purchase, or can you not still enquire at the point of sale ? Liatris do, indeed have bulblets as part of the root system and these are readily separated when transplanting. Mine in Zone 5 bloom profusely about Aug. 1. I'm cuious re availability in bulb form, -- and at this time of year. Will keep watching .

Subject: RE: Help for Liatris
From: Corinne
Zone: 3
Date: 15-Feb-03 01:11 PM EST

Hi Ed, I bought them at Costco. It was a great deal and they appear healthy. Upon closer inspection, I'm not sure if bulb is the correct term - maybe tuber? Anyway, they're sending out little sprouts. The instructions on the box say to put them directly in the garden, but I don't want them to get overgrown in the box. That's why I was wondering what to do with them now.

Subject: RE: Help for Liatris
From: Ed
Zone: 5a
Date: 15-Feb-03 10:58 PM EST

Since they are showing signs of wanting to grow, best to let them do just that by potting them up now. Liatris are tough little beggars so no need to coddle them. Spacing in pots is optional; can be planted fairly close together and also thus transplanted in the garden when ready in your area. After a year or two, the appeearance and performance will indicate when further transplanting and separation are mandatory. In the meantime, loosen up and enjoy !

Subject: RE: Help for Liatris
From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 21-Feb-03 04:13 PM EST

Corrine,it's also important to find a cool place but not freezing. Do you have a garage or shed that is heated to just above freezing? Even a cool (4-7C) corner of your basement will work. That way the roots will grow without the plants taking off and getting leggy long before you can put them outside. As soon as your ground is thawed and able to be worked, go ahead and plant them out. If there is any top growth, mulch it over until they have been aclimatized, a week or so should do. You may be fortunate enough to get them out by late April(I know, us prairie gardeners do have our fantasies). Don't worry if you get a frost or two after you have removed the mulch. The leaves may suffer a bit but the roots will be fine. A frost cover comes in handy for nights. Old sheets will do in a pinch but many Garden Centres in your area carry true frost covers that give ample protection without too much weight crushing the plants. PS I know all those bulb packages look so tempting to us this early in the season when we're in for another temp. plunge this week end and winter feels so long but, unless you have lots of room to pot them up and a good light/temperature controlled place to put them WAIT! If you check out your local Garden Centres you will find they wisely bring in stock right about the time to plant in your area. For instance, Begonias that need many weeks to sprout are available now but the bulbs for direct planting won't be around for a couple of weeks. That's one advantage to buying from local companies, they know the area and act accordingly.

Subject: RE: Help for Liatris
From: sandy
Zone: 3b
Date: 21-Feb-03 06:21 PM EST

I have grown them inpots for awhile in the early part of spring before the temp is right for planting out. I have had very good luck, and I don't think it set them back too much either. But one question about them, why do the stems turn black in late summer, it that a blight?

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