How to Grow Gilia Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Gily-flower, Thimble Flower and Queen Anne's Thimble

Gilia plants bloom from summer through to autumn and carry globe or trumpet shaped flowers. These may be white, yellow, blue or pink.

Some common names include Thimble Flower, Bird's Eyes, Standing Cypress, and Queen Anne's Thimble.

Gilia capitata
Gilia capitata – Globe Gilia by The Marmot.

Gilia congesta
Gilia congesta by Matt Lavin.

Gilia Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Gilia. Gily-flower, Queen Anne's Thimble, Thimble Flower. Gilia: Californian; Blue; Bird's Eye; Globe; Purplespot; Yellowthroat; Rock; Salt; Star; Rosy; Hollyleaf.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual.
Height: 4 to 47 inches (10 to 120 cm).
Native: Tropical and temperate regions of the Americas.
Growing Region: Zones 6 to 10.

Flowers: Summer or/and autumn.
Flower Details: Yellow, white, blue, pink. Five lobed. Globe or funnel-shaped.
Foliage: Spiral arrangement. Basal rosette. Fine.

Sow Outside: 1/8 inch (3mm). A few weeks before the last frost or in autumn. Spacing 6 to 36 inches (16 to 90 cm).
Sow Inside: Use peat pots. Germination time: two to three weeks. Temperature 55 to 65°F (12 to 18°C). Seven or eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Sandy soils. Provide support.
Family: Polemoniaceae.
Miscellaneous: Scarlet Gilia belongs to the Ipomopsis genus.

How to Grow Gilia Plants in the Garden

For best results it is best to grow thimble flower, Bird's eyes, and other Gilia genus plants outdoors from seed. Sow the Thimble flower seeds at a depth of about 3 mm (1/8 inch).

Space Gilia plants at 20 to 40 cm (8 to 16 inches; small varieties) through to 60 to 80 cm (24 to 32 inches; large species).

It should take from two to three weeks for the Gilia plants to germinate at a temperature of 12 to 18 degrees centigrade (54 to 64°F).

Thimble flowers like to grow in sunny areas of the garden. This should have good drainage and a sandy soil.

Caring for Gilia

Members of the Gilia plant genus, such as Thimble flower and Standing Cypress, basically look after themselves and require little attention. It may be a good idea to stake taller Gilia varieties.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Gilia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Cathedral bells, Amaryllis plant, and Polemonium plants.