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Plant of the Week: Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia sp.) photo credit

If you are looking for an eye catching, drought tolerant flower to liven up your garden, one of the Blanket Flower species or horticultural varieties are a great option!  The daisy-like flowers are solid or bi-colored and range from cream to yellow, red, and/or rusty brown.  They are native to the western hemisphere,and several species as well as horticultural crosses and varieties, are cold hardy as low as zone 3.  As an added bonus, the flowers are a favorite among butterflies and other beneficial pollinators as well!  🙂

Plants can be purchased from a garden center or started indoors from seed 4-6 weeks before the last frost.  Transplant starters and potted plants in full sun and well drained soil in early spring but after all chance of frost has past.  Individual plants should be spaced about 18 inches apart in clusters of 3 to 7 plants for the best landscaping autistic and to get the ‘color splash’ that will draw pollinators.  Water newly establishing plants deeply and regularly for the first year.  Once the root system is well established, water only during the driest years.

(Note:  Please respect native prairie and wild plant communities!  Do not dig up wild plants or gather wild seed.  They are a part of a greater community that depends on them.  Thank you!)

Happy Gardening! 🙂