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These native prairie plants add beautiful spikes of color to any dry and sunny garden space. Blazing star also has an interesting blooming habit, as it blooms from the top down on the flower stalk rather than from the bottom up. This makes it a great choice for cut flowers, and it is much loved by florists. In the garden, blazing star is a favorite nectar crop for monarchs and many other butterflies and hummingbirds. Once the blooms are done, it makes a great snack for finches, too. Unfortunately, blazing star is also a favorite snack for bunnies and deer, so plan accordingly.
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From 1 to 8 feet
1 to 2 feet wide
Thanks to their glowing orchid purple/pink blooms, blazing stars make wonderful garden plants that mingle well with other plants. Their fairly unassuming foliage of fine green leaves looks almost grass-like and blends into the landscape well. Once blooming begins, tall spires of color sway in the garden and are constantly abuzz with pollinators. At peak bloom, blazing stars are a favorite for butterflies. Because of the many different species available, you can also get a long bloom time from the flowers.
Blazing Star Care Must-Knows
Blazing stars are true prairie plants. To thrive, they need similar conditions. Plant blazing stars in tough soil conditions with good drainage. One of the main causes of death in blazing stars is winter wet, so make sure they never sit in water in cold weather. These plants grow by way of small corms, a modified storage root like a bulb, which are susceptible to rot. Avoid overly rich, fertile soils, as they can encourage lush, soft growth prone to flopping. These plants are already quite tall, and grow best on fairly lean soils.
Like many other prairie plants, blazing stars need full sun. They are also extremely tolerant of heat and drought, and can make it through some of the toughest summers. Planting blazing stars in full sun will ensure that the plants put on a good show of flowers, and will keep them as compact as possible. Taller species will need competition and neighbors to lean on to prevent flopping.
Many species of blazing star have seen an increase in popularity over the years because of the pollinator movement, which encourages gardeners to plant natives and other plants that act as a nectar source for pollinators. A few varieties offer dwarf habits for smaller spaces and reduce the risk of flopping.