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Shooting Stars

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Friday, February 21, 2020 - 7:00am

Gary Bachman: Beautiful shooting stars really can be a common sight each year in your garden, today on Southern Gardening.

Narrator: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University extension service.

Gary Bachman: Shooting stars can be rare sights in the night sky, but when planted in the garden, they become regular spring performers. Shooting stars emerge as a lone flower stock rising above a small Rosetta foliage. The nodding half to three-quarter inch flowers are delicate and distinctive, having a drastic wind swept appearance. The flowers range from white to various pastel shades of pink. The plants can be 10 inches across and produce 16 to 18 inch flower stems. Like their heavenly cousins, they don't last very long. With the warm days of summer, they disappear until the next spring. Spring is the perfect time to plant in the garden. Be sure to plant in the full sun to partial shade in moist well-drained coarse rocky soil. This is a perfect plant for the rock garden.

Consistent moisture is needed in the spring, but after the shooting stars go dormant, don't water, or crown rot may develop. Division is the easiest way to propagate shooting stars. In the spring when the new shoots are emerging, or in the fall, simply dig clumps and gently pry apart, making sure there are roots attached to the division. Known botanically as Dodecatheon, shooting stars naturally form clumping colonies, so planting just a few will multiply into fairly large numbers. Be sure to plant in the front of the perennial bed near paths and other walkways to make observing the beautiful small flowers a simple and enjoyable task. Shooting stars are undemanding perennials to grow, and much easier to spot than a Leonid. I'm horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Narrator: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University extension service.

 

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