Growing Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia) are an interesting and colorful addition to the flower bed or garden, offering long lasting blooms if deadheaded, a necessary part of the care of Blanket Flowers. A member of the Daisy family, flowers are similar to those of the familiar Wildflower.
Blanket Flowers are annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs, sometimes with rhizomes. The stem is usually branching and erect to a maximum height around 32 inches (80 cm). The leaves are alternately arranged. Some Gaillardias have only basal leaves. They vary in shape. They are glandular in most species. The inflorescence is a solitary flower head. The head can have 15 or more ray florets, while some Blanket Flowers lack any ray florets. They can be most any shade of yellow, orange, red, purplish, brown, white, or bicolored. They are sometimes rolled into a funnel shape. There are many tubular disc florets at the center of the head in a similar range of colors, and usually tipped with hairs. The fruit usually has a pappus of scales.
Learning how to grow Blanket Flower is a fairly simple process. They are easily started from seeds or may be purchased as seedlings for a garden display of blooms in red and yellow colors of the traditional Indian blanket.
Growing Conditions and General Care
Sow seeds into a well-draining soil and cover slightly. Although drought tolerant once established, care of Blanket Flowers includes keeping the seeds moist until germination occurs. Once established, occasional watering should become a part of Blanket Flowers' care. This assists in a longer display of the colorful blooms.
Care of Gaillardias includes planting in a full sun location to keep this fast growing specimen happy. As a native plant to the central United States and Mexico, Blanket Flower is a heat loving flower that attracts butterflies. Growing Blanket Flowers are drought tolerant and do not like wet feet from soggy soil.
Now that you are familiar with growing Blanket Flowers, you can add then to a bed or border for eye catching color. Growing Blanket Flowers can naturalize in a meadow or field adding hues of color. Easy care of Blanket Flowers makes them an ideal specimen for many landscape uses.