Gallardia is a genus of about two dozen perennial flowering plants belonging to the famous Sunflower family. These short-lived plants produce beautiful flowers in combinations of bright colors like maroon, yellow, golden and brown. These bright color combinations somewhat resemble the popular American native blankets. Moreover, these plants grow by forming dense flowering fields. These two features justify them for being commonly known as the ‘Blanket Flower’.
This American native genus is named after M.Gaillard, the French magistrate and botany enthusiast of the 18th century. The bright colors and resilience of the flowers attracted the growers to create a range of hybrids from this genus. These outdoor peeps are surely a nice choice to add the color and the ‘joyful vibe’ to any sunny spot in your garden. Let us know more about the care and propagation of this genus, commonly known as the Gallardia.
Gallardia Plant Features
Height and Spread
The average height of the majority of these plants ranges between 12 to 15 inches. However, some of the members can grow up to 30 inches. They can easily form a dense cover on the ground.
The shape is variable in different species with a size range form3 to 10 inches. However, all of them are arranged in alternate patterns.
The inflorescence consists of one whole flower head. There are about 15 or more ray florets on a single head. However, there are some species in which there are no florets at all.
These plants are multiple bloomers and flower from the spring throughout the summer.
How to Grow and Care for a Gallardia
You will be happy to know about the easy-to-go nature of these plants. All they need is a suitable growing zone with well-drained soil and full sun. Once established, these peeps are pretty ‘foolproof’. Interesting? Let us have a closer look at the care and requirements of these beautiful flowering plants.
In the initial days after planting, you need to water frequently. Every other day is a nice schedule to keep the plantlets alive. However, the water requirement of the plant decreases prominently after the start of flowering. In fact, they develop a little drought tolerance, at this stage.
The blooming peeps can go without water for a whole month or more. However, in extra hot and dry days, a weekly or biweekly watering dose is essential to keep them alive. And, not to forget, over-watering is a strict ‘NO’ for the Gallardias.
These peeps love to be in full sun. Yes, they need a full bright sun to thrive. Partial shades can be tolerated. However, the plant will look prominently unhealthy with a much shorter life span.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements
This genus comes with a remarkable tolerance for hot dry weather. Grow them in warm places with bright sun. Unlike the majority of plants, humidity and cool spots are not their ‘cup of tea’.
The Blanket Flower plants need well-drained soil. A PH of 6.1 to 6.5 is generally fine. However, the plant is not much concerned about the PH.
Importantly, avoid clay soils. As clay soils are perfect to kill these peeps.
Ah, one more surprise! You don’t need to get your energy in fertilizing. Yes, these plants go pretty well without any kind of fertilizing. In fact, poor soils encourage more flowering as compared to the richer ones. So, better go easy on adding those extra doses of nutrition.
De-heading is not an essential requirement for these plants. However, you can help the beds look fuller and healthier by cutting the stems back after the flowers begin to fade.
In short, de-heading results in fuller and quicker flowering. So, don’t think twice about it.
The vast range of USDA growing zones 3 to 11 is suitable for these resilient peeps.
How to Propagate Gallardia Plants
Division of plants is the most common and reliable way to propagate these peeps.
Many varieties have the seeds available in the market. However, the hybrids are not true to the seeds. Moreover, the plants may not bloom in the first year. The ideal practice is to sow the seeds in late summer. Then, take care of the plantlets in the upcoming winter. So, seeds are not a reliable source for propagation.
These hardy plants show good resistance against pests accepts the aster yellows. This disease attacks like a virus and affects the growth of the plant. The flowers turn pale green and the growth of the plant may totally cease in some cases.
- This disease spreads by the pests like aphids and ladybugs. So, it is better to keep a check at these trespassers.
- After the attack, the first solution to this issue is to cut and remove the affected flowers immediately.
- Insecticidal soaps and sprays are commonly available in the market. If you see more than a few attacked spots, it is better to be vigilant. Get professional advice and spray the flower bed to avoid further spread and destruction.
Where to Grow Gallardias
These bright peeps are a nice choice to make flower beds, borders and centres. Moreover, they do equally well in containers. You can combine them with other heat-loving plants according to their color, size and outlook.
- The air decorative grass and plants like Cosmos and Coreopsis also make an admirable combination.
- We have seen attractive flower beds with spiky plants like Crocosmia, Kniphofia and daylilies.
The Gallardia is a genus of flowering perennials, commonly known as Gallardias or Blanket flowers. These plants can grow up to 30 inches and form dense flowering covers. Bright colors, low-maintenance and resilience are the features these plants are admired for. Go ahead and grow them to form borders or in combination with other flowering plants. In addition, they do equally well in containers.
The basic requirements for these peeps are full bright sun, warmth and well-draining soil. Once the initial frequent watering stage is over, once or twice a week is enough to keep these plants happy. If you want to an easy and ‘high-vibe’ touch in your garden, these flowering plants of Gallardia are a perfect choice for you.