Growing Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

February 7, 2006
yellow and reddish orange flowers
Botanical Name: Gaillardia x grandflora
Life Cycle: perennial
Planting Time: spring or fall
Height: dwarf from 8", full-sized 15" to 36"
Exposure: full sun
Soil: average, moist, well-drained soil; drought and salt tolerant
Hardiness: zones 4 to 9
Bloom Time: summer
Flower: shades of red, rust maroon and yellow
Foliage: green
Propagation: seeds, division in early spring, new growth cuttings (late summer), root cuttings (fall)
Suggested Use: cut flowers, beds, borders, boulevards, and seaside gardens
Growing Hints: Start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date or sow them directly into the ground in spring. Seeds need light to germinate so do not cover them, simply press them into the surface of the soil.

Plants will stay vigorous if divided every 2 to 3 years in the spring or fall.
Interesting Facts: Blanket Flowers are unlikely to survive winter in heavy clay soil because they are highly susceptible to root rot. Soil that is too rich in nutrients or over fertilized soil will result in floppy, short-lived plants. They tend to thrive in areas where nothing else seems to grow.
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