By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Whether you’re thinking of growing shooting star plants (Dodecatheon) in the garden or you already have some in the landscape, watering a shooting star properly is an important aspect to consider. Keep reading for information on the watering needs for this plant.
Shooting Star Water Needs
This herbaceous perennial with showy, uplifted blooms grows in the woodlands. It is native to Missouri, but spreads throughout much of the forest of the Central and North Eastern states. This plant grows as far west as Arizona, south to Mexico and north to Alaska. The shooting star plant also grows in the Pacific Northwest. As it is accustomed to growing in the shade on the forest floor, it is watered by rain.
Shooting star water needs in the garden should mimic this rainfall, which will vary depending on its growing conditions and location. Therefore, shooting star watering should be similar to rainfall in your area. The plant is adaptable, but generally likes to be in moist soil.
The plant sometimes grows in moist soils, sometimes wet, and along streams and rivers, so you’ll find it adaptable to a number of places in your garden. If you’re fortunate enough to have these plants in your landscape, keep an eye on their growth and let this be your guide.
How to Water a Shooting Star Plant
Several varieties of this plant grow in different areas, leading to a range of watering needs for shooting star. About 14 species grow in various areas of the U.S. There is even a type that grows in Siberia. The dark-throated types need well-drained alkaline soils and can take more sun than other types that grow in the eastern forests.
If you’re just starting out, this plant will tolerate clay soil but grows best if it is first amended. Grow this specimen in a mostly shady area such as under trees or in a woodland garden area. Filtered sunlight through the branches along with moist soil preceding its late spring bloom ensures the best flowers on your shooting star.
Grow shooting star with plants that have similar watering needs. For instance, plant in the Primula family and hosta are attractive companions.
When planting shooting star, either in spring or fall, keep the soil moist for about six weeks. Otherwise, foliage of these plants goes dormant following the bloom period. During this time of dormancy, watering a shooting star is not necessary. Use a layer of mulch to help keep the soil moist.
A good soaking during and after a summer drought encourages roots to take in necessary nutrients.
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A North American native, shooting star joins other woodland wildflowers like bluebells and trillium to ring in spring. Shooting star sends up a tall, leafless flower stalk that soon reveals white to pink star-shape flowers with recurved petals. The dramatic flower stalk and cluster of pendulous flowers makes shooting star a star of the spring woodland garden. Tricky to get started, this spring ephemeral is worth the effort of selecting the just-right planting site and improving soil with well-decomposed compost if needed.
Plants→Pseuderanthemum→Shooting Stars (Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum)
|Plant Habit:||Herb/Forb |
|Life cycle:||Perennial |
|Sun Requirements:||Full Sun to Partial Shade |
Partial or Dappled Shade
|Water Preferences:||Mesic |
|Minimum cold hardiness:||Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F) |
|Maximum recommended zone:||Zone 11 |
|Plant Height :||2 to 4 feet|
|Plant Spread :||1 to 2 feet|
|Flower Color:||Lavender |
|Bloom Size:||Under 1" |
|Flower Time:||Late spring or early summer |
Late summer or early fall
|Underground structures:||Taproot |
|Suitable Locations:||Xeriscapic |
|Uses:||Windbreak or Hedge |
Suitable as Annual
|Wildlife Attractant:||Bees |
|Resistances:||Humidity tolerant |
|Propagation: Other methods:||Cuttings: Stem |
|Containers:||Needs excellent drainage in pots |
|piksihk||On May 20, 2017||Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)|
didn't come back from freeze
|piksihk||On October 19, 2016||Potted up|
|piksihk||On April 16, 2015||Plant emerged|
|piksihk||On August 1, 2014||Bloomed|
|piksihk||On July 1, 2014||Transplanted|
|wilmarosebud||On May 19, 2018||Obtained plant|
I inherited this plant because the owner thought it didn't bloom. I repotted it, gave it TLC, and it appears to be thriving. I do notice a white sticky residue and I saw a bug on it (which I flicked off after taking a photo of it). I have sprayed it a couple of times with insect killer, so we'll see.
|Thread Title||Last Reply||Replies|
|Plant ID? by nemonest||Apr 28, 2020 12:27 PM||2|
|Unknown shrub. by hyperboly||Mar 26, 2020 2:24 PM||4|
|Help name pretty pink bloom by piksihk||Sep 10, 2013 1:46 PM||2|
Times are presented in US Central Standard Time
Today's site banner is by Baja_Costero and is called "Mammillaria pectinifera"
Dodecatheon, Shooting Star 'Red Wings'
Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
Where to Grow:
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Soil pH requirements:
From seed direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed stratify if sowing indoors
Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions: