Plants that belong to the Gaura genus are half hardy annuals or half hardy perennial shrubs that range from 60 cm to 1.2 metres in height.
Gaura plants bloom from summer through to autumn
They carry spikes of white or pink flowers.
Gaura coccinea - Scarlet gaura by Photogramma1.
Common Names: Gaura, Beeblossom, Linda Tarde, Velvetweed. Gaura: Sweet; Scarlet; Scented; White; Lindheimer's; Downy; Red River.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual. Half hardy perennial. Biennial.
Height: 6 to 60 inches (15 to 150 cm).
Native: Central and North America.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 6 to 9.
Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: White, pink. Petals point upwards. Four (sometimes three) petals. Spike inflorescence.
Foliage: Basal rosette. Shrubby.
Sow Outside: Cover seed. Annuals: following last frost. Perennials: before last frost or autumn. Spacing: small species: 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm); larger species 20 to 36 inches (50 to 90cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: two weeks to one month. Temperature 70 to 75°F (21 to 24°C). Annuals: five or six weeks before expected last frost. Perennials: eight or nine weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors: annuals: following the last frost. Perennials: start of spring or autumn.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Drought tolerant. Average soil. Deadhead. Water during prolonged dry periods. Supply a winter mulch in cold areas. Cut back perennials to 8 or 10 inches (20 to 30cm) during the second year. Propagate perennials by dividing rhizomes in autumn.
Miscellaneous: Synonymous with Stenosiphon.
When growing Gaura outdoors from seed sow annual varieties just after the last frost of spring and perennial varieties either at the start of autumn or the start of spring; lightly cover the Gaura seeds once sown. Ideally the plants should be spaced at about 60 to 90 cm apart and grown in a sunny part of the garden that has good drainage and an ordinary soil.
If starting off indoors then sow out seeds about 5 weeks (annuals) or 10 weeks (perennials) in advance. Gaura germination takes from two to five weeks at a temperature of 18 to 24 degrees centigrade. Transplant annual Gaura varieties out in the garden following the last frost; transplant perennials in the autumn or just before the last frost.
It is easy to look after Gaura plants, they are naturally from central America so can tolerate drought so there is no need to water them. If you remove dead flowers the blooming period will be prolonged. During the second year of growth it is a good idea to cut back the plant to about 25 cm in height; this will encourage them to branch and become more shrub like. If you require more plants then propagate perennial Gaura by division in the spring or autumn.
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