Godetia

Godetia flowers

Easy to grow, colourful, free-flowering annuals. Ideal for the front or middle of the border. Provides good bushy growth and plenty of brightly coloured flowers. Named after the Swiss botanist Charles Henri Godet.

Family: Onagraceae (Evening Primrose family).
Botanical Name: Godetia (Clarkia amoena)
Common Names: Farewell to Spring, Satin Flower

Foliage: Simple, long pointed green leaves.

Flowers: Large, cup-shaped, double, single or frilly flowers. In various shades of white, pink, salmon, mauve, purple, lavender and red, often bicoloured.

Flowering Period: Early to late summer (June-September).

Soil: Moist but well-drained, moderately fertile soil (sand or loam). Slightly acid pH. Avoid waterlogged conditions.

Conditions: Best in full sun, will tollerate some shade. Plant in a east, west or south facing aspect.

Habit: Bushy, upright.

Type: Hardy Annual.

Origin: North America.

Hardiness: Hardy throughout the UK.

Planting and Growing Godetia

One of the easiest summer bedding plants to grow. Needs an open sunny position to flower well. Thrives in any well-drained, moisture-retentive, light soil. Ensure the soil is not too rich as this will generate excessive foliage at the expense of flowers.

Suitable for raised beds, borders, pots and containers.

Tall varieties are useful as cut flowers.

Taking Care of Godetia

Stake taller varieties in exposed situations.

Water regularly during dry weather. Do not over water, as this can cause yellow or brown patches on the leaves.

Pruning

Deadhead regularly to extend the flowering period.

Pests and Diseases

Generally pest free. Can be affected by stem and root rot.

Propagating Godetia

Sow the seeds outdoors where they are to flower, in prepared ground, from early to mid spring. Gradually thin to required spacing.

Sow under glass in autumn for early flowers the next year. Protect late-sown seedlings with cloches in cold areas.

Popular Varieties of Godetia

Most garden varieties are hybrids of G. grandiflora. Average height 1-2ft (30-60cm).

Godetia grandiflora (syn. Clarkia amoena) is a compact plant with mid-green, pointed leaves and colourful trumpet-shaped flowers all summer. Most modern cultivars are available as seeds of mixed colours, although a few older single colour forms are still available. Good varieties include:

  • 'Apple Blossom' soft apricot pink with a touch of white. Height: 3-4ft (90-120cm). Seed for sale at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Azalea-Flowered Mixed' azalea-like semi-double flowers. Seeds available from Johnsons and Mr Fothergill's.
  • 'Crimson Glow' a good dwarf form. Height up to 1ft (30cm).
  • 'Dream Double' mixture of pink and red double flowers. Available from King Seeds.
  • 'Fruit Punch Mixed' dwarf compact plants with early blooms in a range of bicolours as well as pastel tones. Height: 10-12in (25-30cm). For sale at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Kelvedon Glory' salmon-orange blooms. An old variety that is rarely available.
  • 'Little Frills Mix' brightly coloured compact mix of singe, semi and double blooms with an unusual frilled edge. Height: 14in (35cm). Spread: 12in (30cm). Seeds available at Van Meuwen.
  • 'Pastel Posies Mixed' semi-double in hues of pink and white. Height: 20in (50cm). Spread: 12in (30cm). For sale at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Rembrandt' produces drifts of double deep carmine rose and white bicoloured blooms. Height: 20in (50cm). Spread: 12in (30cm). For sale at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Salmon Princess' (godetia azalea) a compact form with azalea-like salmon-pink flowers.
  • 'Sybil Sherwood' pink flowers edged with white.
  • 'Tall Double Mixed' mix of pink, red, rose and mauve double flowers on tall stems.
  • 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' a pretty combination of soft and rich pinks, reds and salmon. Height: 30-38cm (12-15in) For sale at Thompson & Morgan.