Blanket Flower Care

Growing Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower or Gaillardia is an easy-to-grow, short-lived perennial. This plant is a hybrid created from a cross of wildflowers native to North America. The flowers resemble daisies and feature bold-colored petals in red, orange, and yellow hues surrounding a large center. This beauty is a repeat bloomer, and flowers will continue to bloom from summer through fall. Blanket Flower plants have a mounded and spreading form and will stand 24 inches tall and spread 20 inches wide. This is an herbaceous perennial that grows in zones 3 through 10.


Planting Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower thrives in full sun, so plant it in a bright sunny area. Afternoon shade can be beneficial in climates with hot summer weather, but the plant may become leggy and not set as many flowers when grown in low light. This flowering perennial can easily live in poor-quality soil but prefers slightly acidic soil that is well drained.


Watering Blanket Flower

Keep the soil moist but not soggy. This plant has medium-to-low water needs, and too much water can be a problem. Feel the soil and water when the top two inches of the ground are dry. Typically, plan to water the plant weekly, depending on the sun’s intensity and rainfall. Established Blanket Flower plants are drought tolerant, but will set flowers better if given water during a dry spell.

Fertilizing Blanket Flower

Gaillardia plants tend to do best in poor-quality soil. While fertilizer benefits most plants, that is not the case for Blanket Flower. Avoid fertilizing Blanket Flower plants, or do so sparingly using a balanced plant food once in the spring. A layer of organic mulch will help retain moisture and give the plants some nutrition, but it is not necessary.

Pruning Blanket Flower

Deadheading is not mandatory, but the plant will look full and tidy if faded flowers are removed. Trimming dead or fading flowers will also encourage more blooms. Gaillardia is a short-lived perennial, so some gardeners leave some flowers in place to allow the plant to self-seed. Letting the plant set seeds ensures a full garden bed each summer. Blanket Flower may become leggy late in the summer, so cut back growth to encourage another flush of flowers in the fall.

Caring For Blanket Flower in Pots

Blanket Flower makes lovely container plants. The spreading stems will cascade over the edge of the container for a striking spiller effect. One or two Gaillardia plants can grow in a 12-inch container, or one Blanket Flower can be featured with other plants for a varied look. The container must have drainage holes and should be watered regularly in summer or when the top couple inches of soil are dry.


Winter Care for Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower is a cold-hardy, herbaceous perennial, so winter care is minimal. The greenery will die after the first frost, so remove the vegetation at the soil level and apply a layer of mulch or leaves to protect the roots from chilly temperatures. The frosty plants can be left in place, which allows birds to eat the seeds.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 01-29-2023