The Garden Muse: Gaillardia

Published 11:00 am Friday, June 16, 2023

the Garden MuseAre you familiar with perennial Gaillardia, more commonly known as Blanket Flower?

Gaillardia’s bright color blooms will provide a cheery punch of color to any garden, flowerpot or cut flower arrangement. The long-lasting continual blooms of the gaillardia are available in many colors. The most prominent flower combination being bright orange, red and yellow. With regards to visual appeal this plant is well worth the money spent on it, it will bloom June through October and up until the first frost depending on the climate it is planted in.

Draught and poor soil tolerant, gaillardia grows in USDA Zones 3-10 and prefers full sun. It will grow 1-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide and is a low maintenance perennial. It can be grown in the garden or in flower pots. It does not require any fertilization but does require good drainage. Without proper sun and good drainage this plant can develop powdery mildew, aster yellows, and fungal leaf spot.

Gaillardia in the garden or on the patio will provide an attractive food source for many different pollinators. It also provides food to small birds in the form of seeds in the fall. One other of its many attributes is that deer and rabbits are not particularly fond of it.Gaillardia

It is easy to propagate gaillardia from plant division, seed, and stem cuttings. Thrifty gardeners can enjoy many years of colorful flowers by doing so from one initial purchase.

Some parts of the gaillardia contain compounds (lactones) that can cause skin irritation. I suggested wearing garden gloves while working with this plant, especially if you have sensitive skin and/or allergies.

The beautiful easy to grow and propagate Gaillardia is named after the 18th century French magistrate & botanist Maître Gaillard de Charentonneau.

Dawn Conrad is a Retired Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener, Herbalist, Writer and Artist. She can be contacted at dawn@mygardenmuse.com.