Blanket flowers, also known scientifically as Gaillardia x grandiflora, are an extremely easy-to-grow, summer-blooming perennial that require very little seasonal maintenance. Gaillardia grows easily from seed, which will produce plants that bloom the following year. Young plants sold in pots will bloom the first year when planted in the spring.
What You Need To Plant Blanket Flower
- Small-hand or long-handled transplanting spade
- Compost or other organic material for mulching
- Proper location
- Watering can or hose
Where to Plant Blanket Flower
Gaillardia prefers a location that has full sun or shade very early in the day or late in the afternoon. Well-draining, loamy soil with fair to good fertility will support vigorous growth. Heavy clay soil needs to be amended with organic compost to make it lighter in texture and better able to drain excess water. Compacted or shallow soil needs to be broken up to a depth of at least 10 inches, if possible, to allow for proper root development.
Blanket Flower Spacing
Blanket Flower spreads easily by underground rhizomes, forming thick blankets of leaf rosettes. The foliage can be semi-evergreen and act as a groundcover while not in bloom in the upper end of its growing range. Space Blanket Flower 12-18 inches apart, center on center, from other plants. This will allow for good air circulation around each plant while quickly filling up the garden with color. Blanket Flowers are best used in naturalized, pollinator, and other informal garden plans in large numbers. The strong stems of Blanket Flower rarely need extra support from stakes or cages.
Steps To Plant Blanket Flower
Step 1 - Dig a hole twice as wide and as deep as the root ball.
Step 2 - Gently remove the plant from its pot and tease apart the roots if pot-bound.
Step 3 - Place the root ball in the hole so that it is even with the surface of the soil and gently fill in the hole with garden soil.
Step 4 - Firm the soil around the plant's root zone.
Step 5 - Water the soil around the plant until well saturated.
Step 6 - Mulch with 2-3 inches of organic material such as shredded leaves or arborist chips to suppress any weed growth and help the soil retain moisture longer.
When to Plant Blanket Flower
Pot-grown Blanket Flower can be successfully planted anytime from spring to late summer. Supplemental watering will be needed until the plants are well established, typically for the first year. Perennials can experience transplant shock if they are planted during the hottest part of the day or on a very sunny day. Overcast days that are cooler help all plants transplant better with less dehydration and stress. Blanket Flower can be transplanted easily in growing zones where it remains semi-evergreen through the winter.
Transplanting Blanket Flower
Dividing and transplanting Blanket Flower is very straightforward and a great way to spread the plants around your garden. The root system is generally shallow and easy to dig up, especially when the ground is softer in spring. Wait to transplant until after the last frost in spring or before the frosts of fall. Divide clumps into easy-to-handle clumps, cutting through the root mass with a sharp spade or two garden forks. Transplant the new plants as quickly as possible to reduce moisture loss and transplant shock. Mulch with 2-3 inches of organic mulch, after watering the plants in well, to help suppress weeds and retain moisture in the soil
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Author Robbin Small - Published 3-11-2023