Gaillardia

Gaillardia buds and flowers

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 (daisy)
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.

Conditions: Best in full sun.

Habit: Bushy.

Type: Short-lived perennial or annual.

Origin: Americas

Hardiness: Hardy throughout most of the UK.

Planting and Growing Gaillardia

Gaillardia red/orange double flower

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 (long-lasting).

Taking Care of Gaillardia

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.

Pruning

Deadhead regularly to prolong the flowering period. Cut perennials hard back in late August/September after flowering.

Pests and Diseases

Can be affected by downy mildew.

Propagating Gaillardia

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.

Popular Varieties of Gaillardia Grown in the UK

Several very good perennial forms are now available as the annual varieties are becoming less popular and more difficult to find.

Annuals

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).

Perennials

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 Express.

Gaillardia 'Tokajer' has fading orange flowers with a brown, button-like center. Prolific bloomer. Available from Gardening Express.

Gaillardia 'Mesa Bright Bicolour' is a brightly coloured blanket flower in two-tone red and yellow blooms. Available from Thompson & Morgan & Gardening Direct.

Gaillardia 'Mesa Red' has beautiful red blooms. Good drought tolerance. Available from Gardening Direct.