Height 23-75cm (9-30in)
Planting distance 15cm (6in)
Flowers early to late summer
Godetias are one of the most popular border plants, thanks to their bushy growth habit, abundance of brightly coloured, and the ease with which they can be grown. The funnel-shaped blooms come in a variety of forms – single, double, semi-double and frilled -and are carried at the top of up-right leafy spikes from early to late summer.
They are equally suitable for growing in, for pots and containers, and as cut flowers.
Only one species, Godetia grandiflora, is commonly grown and numerous varieties have been developed from it. ‘Azalea-flowered’ has semi-double flowers with wavy-edged petals in shades of pale pink, carmine-pink, salmon-pink and white. The plants stand 38-45cm (15-18in) high. ‘Cherie’ has double, pink, azalea-like blooms on 30cm (12in) high plants. ‘Crimson Glow’ is a dwarf plant, reaching 23cm (9in) high with single red flowers. ‘Double White’ has double white flowers and reaches 38-50cm (15-20in) high. ‘Duchess of Albany’, 30-38cm (12-15in) high, has satin-white, frilled flowers. ‘Dwarf Bedding Mixed’ produces compact plants reaching 23-30cm (9-12in) high, which bear single flowers in mixed colours. ‘Firelight’ is bright crimson, on 30-38cm (12-15in) high plants. ‘Grace Mixed’ is a tall F1 hybrid mixture, up to 75cm (2-1/2ft) high; the flowers are marbled in lavender, salmon, pinks and reds. ‘Salmon Princess’ is a compact plant reaching 25-30cm (10-12in) high, with salmon-pink flowers. ‘Sybil Sherwood’ has lilac-pink flowers edged with white. The plants are 38cm (15in) high. ‘Tall Double Mixed’ has pink, red, rose and mauve double flowers on 75-90cm (2-½ – 3ft) high stems.
Godetias like a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny site. If the soil is too rich, excessive foliage will grow at the expense of the flowers.
Sow the seeds in their flowering site in early to, just covering them with soil. Thin to 15cm (6in) apart.
Stake the taller varieties in exposed positions, and water during dry weather.
Pests and diseases
Over-watering can cause yellow, brown, or khaki-coloured patches to appear on the leaves which then fall off prematurely.