The brilliant fiery flowers of gaillardia will brighten up any sunny border and will reward you with bright blooms all summer long, right up until the first frosts. A good plant for attracting pollinators.
Family: Asteraceae or Compositae
Botanical Name: Gaillardia
Common Names: Blanket flower, Indian Blanket, Firewheel
Foliage: Deciduous. Simple lance shaped, mid-green, leaves.
Flowers: Bright daisy like blooms, in shades of red, orange and yellow, often bicolour. Single, double or semi-double forms are available.
Flowering Period: June to September.
Soil: Well-drained, fertile soil (chalk, sand or loam). Any pH. Dislikes sticky clays and waterlogged conditions. Ideal for dry gardens.
in full sun.
Type: Short-lived perennial or annual.
Hardiness: Hardy throughout most of the UK.
Gaillardias are easy to grow, drought tolerant and a major attractor of bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. They will thrive in most well-drained soil types, although a light loam gives the best results.
Choose a sunny west or south facing aspect, in either an exposed or sheltered possition. Ideal for open sunny flower borders, raised beds and large containers. Gaillardias will also tollerate dry and windy sites and coastal situations.
Long flowering period. Excellent as cut flowers
Dead-head to encourage a succession of flowers and feed every few weeks with a general fertilizer. Do not over water.
Support tall varieties with twiggy sticks.
Deadhead regularly to prolong the flowering period. Cut perennials hard back in late August/September after flowering.
Can be affected by downy mildew.
Most varieties are easily raised from seed and will usually flower in the first year. Sow half-hardy annuals indoors in February-March. Prick out, pot on, and plant out in May after hardening off. Seeds of perennials can be sown outside where they are to flower, around May-June time. Thin to 1ft (30cm) apart.
Mature clumps of perennials can be divided early spring. Alternatively, propagate perennials by root cuttings in winter or early spring.
Several very good perennial forms are now available as the annual varieties are becoming less popular and more difficult to find.
Gaillardia pulchella has grey-green leaves, with large single or double flowers from July-October. The cultivar Lorenziana Double Mixed is a mix of cream, yellow, orange, crimson and multi-coloured blooms. Height 1.5 to 2ft (45-60cm), spread 1ft (300mm). Lollipops is a good bicoloured dwarf version. Height to 1ft (30cm).
Gaillardia picta 'Indian Chief' has striking bronze-red flowers. Height 18in (45cm).
Gaillardia grandiflora (syn. G. aristata) has grey green leaves, with yellow and red flowers from June-October. Good cultivars include:
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona' a new dwarf gaillardia with a long-flowering period. Available from Thompson & Morgan.
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Kobold' has a long flowering period from June to September. Orange, red and yellow flowers. Good for coastal gardens. Height: 12in (30cm), spread: 18in (45cm). Available from Thompson & Morgan.
Gaillardia aristata 'Arizona Sun' has bright orange, red and yellow daisy like flowers. Height and spread: 2ft (60cm). Available from Thompson & Morgan.
Gaillardia aristata 'Burgundy' has large wine red flowers. Height: 2ft (60cm), spread: 1.5ft (45cm). Available from Thompson & Morgan.
Gaillardia 'Burgundy' has waxy red-maroon flowers with slight pale yellow centers from early June through autumn. Gray-green foliage. Height to 29 in, spread 12-18 in. Available from Gardening Express.
Gaillardia Fanfare is a new compact variety with large red flowers that fade to yellow at the unusual flared tips. Height 15in, spread 12in. Available from Gardening Express.
Gaillardia Kobold Goblin has orange, red and bright yellow daisy-like flowers from early June through autumn. Available from Gardening Express.
Gaillardia 'Snappy' is a reliable long living perennial with unique two-tone flowers. Available from Thompson & Morgan.
Gaillardia St Clements (Oranges & Lemons)
has strikingly large peachy orange flowers with yellow
tips and a gold central disk. Fine blue-green foliage.
Good upright habit. Available from Gardening
Gaillardia 'Tokajer' has fading
orange flowers with a brown, button-like center. Prolific
bloomer. Available from Gardening
Gaillardia 'Mesa Red' has beautiful
red blooms. Good drought tolerance. Available from Gardening Direct.