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Ohio NativesPlantsJune 1, 2023by Colin0Eastern Bluestar

Eastern Bluestar, scientifically known as Amsonia tabernaemontana, is a stunning native perennial that adds beauty and charm to gardens and landscapes. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history, growing instructions, maintenance tips, and other essential aspects of Eastern Bluestar.

History and Significance

Eastern Bluestar has a rich history and holds significance in the world of horticulture. Native to North America, this plant has been admired for its delicate blue flowers and attractive foliage. It was named after the 16th-century German botanist, Jakob Theodor von Bergzabern, who is also known as Tabernaemontanus. Eastern Bluestar has gained popularity among gardeners for its ornamental value and adaptability to various growing conditions.

Growing Eastern Bluestar

Here are some essential guidelines for successfully growing Eastern Bluestar:

  1. Location: Eastern Bluestar thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers moist, well-drained soil but can tolerate a wide range of soil types. Choose a location that provides ample sunlight and has good drainage to ensure optimal growth.
  2. Planting: Start Eastern Bluestar from nursery-bought plants or sow seeds directly in the garden. Plant the young plants or seeds in spring or fall, spacing them about 18 to 24 inches apart. Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and incorporating organic matter to improve its fertility.
  3. Watering: Eastern Bluestar has moderate water needs. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry periods, to keep the soil evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. Applying a layer of organic mulch around the plants helps retain moisture and suppress weed growth.
  4. Maintenance: Eastern Bluestar is relatively low-maintenance. Trim back the stems after flowering to promote a bushier growth habit and encourage reblooming. Dividing the clumps every few years helps maintain the plant’s vigor and control its spread.
  5. Propagation: Eastern Bluestar can be propagated through division or by collecting and planting seeds. Divide the clumps in early spring or fall by carefully separating the roots and replanting them. Collect seeds from the dried seed pods and sow them directly in the garden or save them for future planting.

Uses and Benefits

  1. Ornamental Beauty: Eastern Bluestar is prized for its clusters of star-shaped, light blue flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer. Its slender, willow-like leaves add an elegant touch to garden beds, borders, and naturalistic landscapes.
  2. Wildlife Attraction: Eastern Bluestar attracts various pollinators, including bees and butterflies, with its nectar-rich flowers. It also serves as a host plant for butterfly larvae, supporting their life cycle. By incorporating Eastern Bluestar into your garden, you can create a haven for beneficial insects and enhance biodiversity.

Interesting Facts

  • Eastern Bluestar’s leaves turn a beautiful golden-yellow in the fall, adding a splash of color to the landscape.
  • The plant’s scientific name, Amsonia tabernaemontana, is derived from the Greek word “amson,” meaning glue, referring to the sticky sap that oozes from the stems when cut.
  • Eastern Bluestar is known for its deer-resistant properties, making it a suitable choice for gardens where deer browsing is a concern.

Eastern Bluestar is a captivating native perennial that offers ornamental beauty, wildlife benefits, and adaptability to various growing conditions. By including this plant in your Ohio landscape, you can enjoy its charming blue flowers, support pollinators, and create a visually appealing garden that thrives with ease.

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