Gaillardia: Blanket flower

Height 30-60cm (1 -2ft)

Planting distance 30cm (1ft)

Flowers mid summer to mid autumn

Any well-drained soil

Sunny site

Hardy annual

This genus of bright daisy-like flowers includes one annual species, Gaillardia pulchella. Commonly known as the blanket flower, it has single red flowers edged with yellow from mid summer to mid autumn. They are suit-able for decoration in herbaceous borders and also make good cut flowers.

Popular varieties

The following popular varieties have all been developed from Gaillardia pulchella. ‘Double Mixed’ grows 60cm (2ft) high and bears 7.5cm (3in) wide, fully double flowers in cream-white, gold, crimson and bicolours. ‘Lorenziana’ has double round-headed red, gold or yellow flowers. It grows 30cm (1ft) high. ‘Red Plume’, 30cm (1ft) tall, has a profuse show of striking, deep red double flowers.

Cultivation

Blanket flowers grow reasonably well in most soils in sun or shade, though light well-drained soil in a sunny site gives the best results. Sow the seeds in the flowering site in mid spring and thin to 30cm (1ft) apart. Support with twiggy sticks may be necessary; deadhead to prolong the flowering period.

Pests and diseases

Downy mildew sometimes affects the leaves.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Gaillardia: Blanket flower

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