Help!: Blazing Star (Liatris) Problems


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Hello everyone,
Last March I planted some liatris corms. They were doing incredibly well in full sun all day and were just a beautiful deep lavender. They grew to be about 3 feet tall. However, in the last 2 weeks, the flower beads have been turning gray and the stalks are just dying! The bottom portion of the plant seems to be healthy, but I can grab the stalk and with almost no effort, just remove it from the plant- rendering it trash!! Has anybody else had this problem? They're dropping like flies and I'm heart broken. Is this a normal life span for the flower stalk or is this the result of extreme heat/bad soil/garden pests?

Thank you for your help!
 
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Are you watering your garden @poisonivey :unsure:
Yeah, definitely. I'm out in it every day, watering, cultivating, fertlizing (when necessary). I don't know if they're related, but I have been seeing a ground squirrel (and holes) in the garden right around the time I noticed the flowers dying. I assumed it was coincidence though since the basal leaves are completely fine and only the stalk is affected. :cry:
 
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Liatris likes to be in fairly well drained soil. I rather think that your plants may have finished flowering now for this year, and if you like you could just cut those flower stems off now at ground level. They will be back again in abundance I'm sure next summer.
A lovely choice if I may say so. Butterflies love them don't they.
Maybe you could plant a few ornamental grasses and some persicaria, crocosmia, or similar in the same bed so there is something to take over as the Liatris fades each year ?
 
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Yes, I love them! Given how hot and semi-arid this region is- I needed something that could tolerate extreme weather. In addition- I wanted to attract butterflies and bees. They have been so beautiful. Thank you for the advice! My soil is a mixture of peat moss, sand and loam. It is not clay, it drains well. I suppose it is that time for the beautiful liatris to be deadheaded. Thank you for your advice, I just may go and seek out some of these varieties you mentioned. :)
 
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You're welcome. As a general rule, you will find that any plant you find with silver leaves will tolerate hot and dry conditions.... like lavender and santolina for example :)
 
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