Growing Gaillardia

A three old planting of gaillardia from seed

A three year old planting of gaillardia from seed

Closeup of the common gaillardia

Closeup of the common gaillardia

New planting of Arizona Sun Gaillardia

New planting of Arizona Sun gaillardia

I am learning how to grow gaillardia. Last year I put out a nice planting of Celebration gaillardia and promptly killed them. Why?They were in very fertile, acidic soil, that was a bit over watered. After researching the plants this year, I have them planted in okay soil along a foundation that has an underpinning of limestone gravel, and they are doing very well. Here is what I do know. In the wild they are usually in sandy soil in full sun, and if seeded never irrigated. If planted, they are watered until well established and then watered when they become wilted. So, I am learing to grow a beautiful full sun semi-perennial in our area. What I mean by semi-perennial is that some years they over winter and other years they don’t. So most of the time folks treat them as annuals. This summer, here is my program. Once established only occassional watering, very light fertilization, and removing the flowers when they finish blooming but before they go to seed. The way this summer is starting off with the dry weather we are having, I should have a group of beautiful flowering plants.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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