Container Gardening with Liatris


2nd year plants, 1st year blooming

In this article, we will tell you the key factors we used to successfully grow Liatris in pots to be used in container gardening.

We love growing native plants here at Growit Buildit it and want to expand our use of native plants to our container gardening on our front porch, decks, and patios.

Whether you have a large outdoor space to garden in or you are limited to a small deck or patio area, we hope this helps inspire you to consider going native in your plant choices for your container gardening.

Why Choose Liatris for Container Gardening

  • beautiful foliage
  • drought tolerant/low maintenance
  • attracts bees, birds, butterflies
  • long lasting blooms

Factors to Consider when Container Gardening with Liatris

  • what species of Liatris you choose
  • the size of the pot and drainage
  • location, particularly how much sun it will get

Process to Grow Coneflowers in Pots

Select a large enough container

To grow Liatris in a pot or container, select a large container of 1 gallon or larger (4 L). The larger the container, the larger the Liatris can grow/bloom. The example below has about a 3 gallon capacity (12 L).

The size is also important for stability. Liatris can often grow 2-3′ tall. The larger, or heavier the container the less likely the pot could tip over. Choosing a heavy pot can also help for maintaining stability.

Drainage is important!

Make sure the container has several large drain holes in the bottom so that water cannot collect. This is because poor drainage will kill Liatris by rotting the roots. If there are no drainage holes, add them or select a different pot.

Fill the pot with moist potting soil, up to 1″ below the rim (2.5 cm). Gravel is not necessary in the bottom of the pot, unless you think your pot will not be heavy enough to support the plant.

If you purchased seed, plant your Liatris seeds per the instructions on the packet. Or, you purchased a plant, then transplant it into the pot. Just dig a hole of the appropriate size and plant it.

Location Matters….

Liatris loves full sun! So, if you put the pot in a location that receives at least 6 hours per day should get the most blooms. It will grow in partial sun (3-6 hours a day), but will not get as showy, tall, or full.

Keep it watered…

Any plant in a container drys out faster than if planted in the ground. So, plan on watering the Liatris daily when it is hot or sunny. Although Liatris is drought tolerant, it can dry out just like any other container plant.

If you are unsure, you can poke your finger 1″ into the potting soil to see if the soil is moist. If it feels dry, then water the plant. Also, pick up the pot – if it feels light, it probably needs water.

Another reason to make sure it gets regular water is to help it stay upright. Because Liatris Spicata can get a bit tall, if the pot dries out the center of gravity could go too high. This could make the pot potentially tip over in high winds.

Keeping Liatris in pots during Winter

Liatris is hardy to zone 3, so it can tolerate cold temperatures, but if you are in zone 4 or 5 you may want to consider taking them into an unheated garage over the winter.

An important note on watering dormant plants!

It is ok to not water a dormant plant much, if at all. If you keep the soil moist, the root stock can rot and cause the plant to die. Leaving them exposed to mother nature is a good way to go letting them get watered as they would if planted in the ground. Again, having pots with proper drainage is important.

Does Liatris need to be fertilized?

Generally Liatris do not need fertilizer. However, a layer of compost around the plant in the Spring can help keep the plant looking full and healthy.

Check out this post for more information about our easy method to compost:

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Tara Foster

Hi! I'm Tara, half of the Growit Buildit duo. I am a frugal DIY enthusiast!! My professional background is in education and counseling, but have spent the last few years as a stay at home mom, which has given me the opportunity to explore my passions that have been put aside for so long. I gravitate towards what I'd consider modern farmhouse style, with a little boho mixed in. I have planned remodels for larger projects, like our kitchen, as well as many smaller DIY projects around our house. In addition, I create a lot of smaller craft projects. I am currently a maker for a local retail boutique in our area called 6ix North. I hope my posts provide you with some useful information for your DIY projects.

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