Plants belonging to the Gaillardia genus may be hardy annuals or perennials and range in height from 15 cm to 75 cm (annuals) or 40 cm to one metre (perennial Gaillardia).
Gaillardia have greyish green leaves and bloom from summer through to autumn.
The flowers are reminiscent of daisies; they have a central eye and the petals may be red, yellow or orange.
Some common names for plants belonging to this genus include Blanket Flower and Indian Blanket.
Gaillardia aristata by Matt Lavin.
Common Names: Blanket Flower, Firewheel, Perfume ball, Sundance, Indian blanket, Common Gaillardia. Blanket flower: Common; Lanceleaf; Winkler's; Arizona; Onion; yellow; Parry's.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual, hardy annual. Hardy perennial.
Height: 6 to 28 inches (15 to 70 cm).
Growing Region: Zones 1 to 10. As a perennial in zones 4 to 9.
Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Yellow, orange, brown, red/violet. Daisy-like ray and disc florets. Fragrant.
Foliage: Lanceolate. Grey-green.
Sow Outside: Surface. Following last frost; annuals can also be sown in autumn in warm climates. Spacing 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to three weeks in the light. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Four to six weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost; perennials should be put out three weeks after the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Soil pH 6 to 7.5. Average and poor soils; best in sandy soils. Likes dry soils. One spring feed. Add manure top dressing to annuals in the summer. Deadhead regularly for prolonged blooms. Propagate: divide perennials in spring in cool areas or autumn in warmer areas. Cutting from the roots can be taken in spring.
When growing Blanket flowers from seed sow on the surface in the spring (perennial Gaillardia); or just after the last frost or in autumn (annual Gaillardia). Gaillardia plants should be spaced from 30 cm to 45 cm apart in the garden, depending upon size of the plant. Ideally blanket flower will grow in a sunny part of the garden that has a moist loamy soil.
If starting off indoors then sow annuals about a month in advance and perennial species about 6 weeks in advance. It should take from one week (annuals) to three weeks (perennial) for Gaillardia seeds to germinate at a temperature of about 20 degrees centigrade in the light. Transplant annuals into the garden just after the last frost; perennials should be transplanted out towards the end of spring.
It is quite easy to look after Gaillardia plant species such as Indian blanket and Blanket flowers; taller Gaillardia varieties should be staked; supply a feed of manure in the spring; water regularly to keep the soil moist; dead head old flowers to prolong the blooming period; cut back for a second bloom. To maintain vigor divide perennials every couple of years. If you require more plants then propagate by division in autumn or take cuttings from the roots in the spring; annuals should be grown from seed.
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