How to Grow Gaillardia Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Blanket Flower, Sundance, Indian blanket, Firewheel and Perfume ball

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 pulchella
Gaillardia pulchella - Indian blanket by Euthman; creative commons.

Gaillardia aristata
Gaillardia aristata by Matt Lavin.

Gaillardia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Blanket Flower, Firewheel, Perfume ball, Sundance, Indian blanket, Common Gaillardia. Blanket flower: Common; Lanceleaf; Winkler's; Arizona; Onion; yellow; Parry's.
Family: Asteraceae.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual, hardy annual. Hardy perennial.
Height: 6 to 28 inches (15 to 70 cm).
Native: Americas.
Growing Region: USA: Zones 1 to 10. As a perennial in zones 4 to 9; UK Hardiness: H5

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.

How to Grow Blanket Flower and other Gaillardia Plants in the Garden

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 (12 to 18 inches) 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. Sow 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 (68°F). Germinate in the light.

Transplant annuals into the garden just after the last frost. Perennials should be transplanted out towards the end of spring.

Caring for Gaillardia Plants

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.

Deadhead 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.

Common Questions

How many members does the Gaillardia genus have?

The Gaillardia genus consists of about 30 species.

Do members of Gaillardia make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Gaillardia, also known as Blanket Flowers, are loved for their vibrant, long-lasting blooms, and are excellent for gardens and landscapes.

Which Gaillardia species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Gaillardia x grandiflora, a hybrid between G. aristata and G. pulchella, is commonly grown due to its beautiful, large flowers.

Are members of the Gaillardia plant genus fragrant?

Generally, Gaillardia flowers are not particularly known for having a fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Gaillardia?

Gaillardia thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, and is highly tolerant of heat and drought.

Is Gaillardia invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Gaillardia is not recognized as an invasive species in the USA.

How do I remove Gaillardia plants from my garden?

Gaillardia can be removed by digging out the plant, ensuring you get as much of the root system as possible.


The Gaillardia plant genus belongs to the Asteraceae family. They are native to North and South America and are cherished for their vibrant and long-lasting flowers.

To grow Gaillardia, plant seeds or seedlings in the spring in full sun and well-drained soil. These plants are drought-tolerant and thrive in poor soil conditions, making them easy to care for. Deadhead the flowers regularly to encourage a longer blooming season.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Gaillardia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ Asteraceae growing guides: How to grow Tasselflower and ?Rudbeckia plants.