How to Transplant Liatris Elegans

Liatris is a favorite for cut flower arrangements.
Liatris is a favorite for cut flower arrangements. (Image: NA/ Images)

Liatris elegans, one of the many species of blazing star, adds a little zip to the garden with its tall spikes of purple flowers in summer and early fall. A bit more tender than many liatris species, L. elegans does best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 9. Growing from corms -- small, flat bulbs -- this North American native can be transplanted in spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Compost
  • Mulch

Dig a hole about 4 inches deep with a garden trowel or shovel. Liatris is not picky about soil, but it should be well drained. Improve clay and other hard soils by mixing compost or soil conditioner into the bottom of the hole.

Cut to the ground any stems remaining from the previous year and clear debris from the site.

Disinfect tool blades with a disinfectant spray after each use.
Disinfect tool blades with a disinfectant spray after each use. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dig around and under a group of blazing star so you have a clump with the roots intact. If you want smaller clumps, break it apart with your hands or a trowel. Keep as much soil on the clumps as possible.

Transplant each clump to a new hole so that the soil level remains the same as in the old location.

Backfill the hole with the amended, excavated soil. Tamp gently with your hands.

Water thoroughly to settle the soil and cover the planting area with an inch of mulch to conserve moisture. Water for a few months until the clumps are established.

Clean up the site by moving the excess soil from the new site to the old planting hole.

Tips & Warnings

  • All liatris prefer full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Liatris is a sturdy, fuss-free perennial. It is drought-tolerant and nearly problem-free. It also requires little or no fertilization.
  • The same procedures apply if you are transplanting from containers.

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