Blanket Flowers are some of the easiest native plants to grow in an ornamental garden. The intensely colored flowers bloom non-stop from mid-summer to fall and provide buckets of nectar to hungry pollinators such as native bees, hoverflies, beneficial wasps, hummingbirds, butterflies, and moths. Combining Blanket Flower with other local natives is a great strategy for encouraging wildlife into your garden. Meadow gardens, cottage gardens, container gardens, kitchen gardens, cutting gardens, and xeric garden designs all suit Blanket Flowers’ look and growth habit.
Shrubs To Plant With Blanket Flower
Blanket Flowers tend to spread and might be out of place in a formal shrub border. They will pair well with informal shrubs that thrive in full sun and soil on the dry side. Mediterranean shrubs such as rosemary, lavender, thyme, and bottlebrush encourage beneficial pollinators and look great combined with the bright colors of Blanket Flowers. Combine them in a kitchen or herb garden for long-lasting color and fragrance.
Perennials To Plant With Blanket Flower
Perennials in a meadow, pollinator, or late-season blooming border are perfect companions for the Blanket Flower's cheerful and laid-back appearance. Ornamental grasses, blazing star, coreopsis, shasta daisy, echinacea, rudbeckia, and Russian sage are just a few dependable perennials that enjoy full sun and excellent-draining soils.
Include Blanket Flower in a xeriscape garden design to conserve water usage while showcasing an abundance of flowers. Blanket Flower is also at home in a rock garden display alongside other drought-tolerant plants such as sedum, ice plant, dianthus, and beardtongue. Although Blanket Flower is drought tolerant at maturity, it does require supplemental watering in the first year or two after planting to establish a dense root system.
Annuals To Plant With Blanket Flowers
The straight stems and long-lasting flowers of Blanket Flower make wonderful cut flowers late in the summer when other perennials have started to slow down and die back. Grow other long-stemmed annuals like cosmos, zinnia, cleome, sunflowers, and snapdragons in a garden border or raised bed dedicated to cut flowers. The many cultivars of Blanket Flower have interesting flower shapes and colors that can be mixed and matched to create stunning, long-lasting bouquets. Experiment with low-growing annuals in an established garden bed to create an annually changing edge to the bed. Marigolds, wax begonia, moss rose, and sun-loving varieties of coleus can all hold their own alongside the intense colors of Blanket Flower.
Best Companion Plants for Blanket Flowers in Containers
Blanket Flowers work well as the anchor plant for a bright display of long-blooming plants in a seasonal mixed display. Calibrachoa and sun-loving coleus will round out a container of Blanket Flower for a cheerful display on any deck, patio, or balcony.
The key to successfully growing Blanket Flower in a container is drainage. The pot must have bottom drainage holes, and the potting mix will drain best with large amounts of perlite. Any container companions should also be able to grow in lean soil. Excessive fertilizing of Blanket Flowers will reduce the quality and quantity of the flowers. A monthly feeding with diluted liquid Seaweed is sufficient to keep a mixed planter growing vigorously and blooming well.
Plants Not To Grow With Blanket Flowers
The sun-worshiping Blanket Flower will not bloom well in less than 6 hours of sun a day. Ferns, hostas, impatiens, or bleeding hearts prefer part to full shade, conditions that would weaken Blanket Flower and increase the risk of diseases like mildew. Blanket Flower also does not belong in formal garden areas that need to stay tidy. Gaillardia heavily self-seeds and also spreads through underground rhizomes to create thick mats on the surface of the soil.
Best Plants To Grow With Blanket Flowers
The best companions for Blanket Flower need little fertilization or supplemental watering to grow well through the season. Native shrubs and low-maintenance perennials are the perfect candidates. Echinacea, blazing star, yarrow, and various prairie grasses can be mixed and matched with the many Blanket Flower varieties for outstanding garden color up to the first frost in fall.
Some of these images were generated by a computer to illustrate what the combination could look like in your garden.