Growing Blanket Flowers In Pots (Gaillardia) – At Home

Growing Blanket Flowers in Pots

Blanket flower is a genus of about 25 species of mostly perennials in the family Asteraceae and it is called Gaillardia. Blanket flower is beautiful bright color flowers. They are perennial flowers but mostly they are grown as summer annual flowers. Blanket flowers are easy to grow in pots and they look very beautiful. In this article we also discuss the below topics about growing Blanket flowers;

  • How to grow Blanket flowers in pots at home
  • How to grow and care for Gaillardia
  • Container grown Blanket flowers care
  • Why are my Blanket flowers dying
  • Growing Blanket flower from seed
  • Tips for growing Gaillardia or Blanket flower plants
  • Gaillardia varieties
  • Growing tips of Gaillardia
  • How to propagate Gaillardia
  • Gaillardia seeds germination time

A Step-By-Step Guide to Growing Blanket Flowers in Pots

The Blanket flower produces beautiful richly colored, daisy-like flowers. Many cultivators grow Blanket flowers on a massive scale for ornamental purposes. It is a cool-season, short-lived perennial plant, with fuzzy light green leaves. Its flowers are bright red with yellow tips. Potted Blanket flower plants are just one example of a versatile and very easy-to-grow plant for containers that is sure to delight throughout the summer season.

Varieties of Gaillardia

Here are some popular Blanket flower plant varieties;

  • Arizona Sun Gaillardia – It grows 6-12 inches tall in full sun. Red Center with yellow outer petals
  • Burgundy Blanket Flower – It grows 24-36 inches tall. Deep reddish burgundy color. These feature wine-red petals with a yellow center disk that age to burgundy.
  • Gaillardia Aristata – It grows 2-4 feet tall with longer yellow tips.
  • Gaillardia Sunset Poppy – double rose-red petals dipped in yellow color.
  • Gaillardia Commotion Moxie – yellow tubular petals
  • Gaillardia Goblin – This is a hardy variety with large green leaves that are veined in maroon.

Moisture and Soil Requirements for Growing Blanket Flowers in Pots

Blanket flower plants need well-draining soil. This pretty perennial plant is fairly drought resistant. First, choose well-draining soil that is loose and sandy. A neutral pH is best. The Blanket flower plants are easy to care and require little water. Then, add organic matter such as compost at planting time and early in the spring each year. Space Blanket flower plants about 12 inches apart.

Sunlight Requirement for Growing Blanket Flowers in Pots

Blanket flower plant likes full sun and it flowers best when it gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. If you have a hot location and find that other flowers wilt from the heat, try growing Blanket flower. It is happy in a hot garden. If you have a very hot location, the Blanket flower plant can handle some partial shade, but the flowers will get leggy and the plant will not flower as readily.

Growing Blanket Flowers In Pots From Seed

Starting Indoors – Start Blanket flowers indoors as early as 8 weeks before the last frost. Once they reach 6 inches in height, harden them off before planting them in their “forever home.”

Direct Sowing – Direct sow Blanket flower seeds as soon as all danger of frost has passed.

Seed Depth – No more than 1/8 inches. Blanket flower seeds require sunlight to germinate. Gently press them into clump-free soil, or use the “scatter and thin” process.

Seed Spacing – 16 to 18 inches.

Days of Germination: – 10 to 20 at 21°C to 23°C. Even with fresh seeds, they can have a low germination rate, so we recommend planting about 3 to 4 seeds per spot for the best results.

Steps to Growing Blanket Flowers in Pots from Seed

Step 1) Blanket flower seeds grow readily with the proper planting and care. Sow Gaillardia seeds 6 to 8 weeks before the last average frost date in your area.

Step 2) First, mix 1 part fine sphagnum peat moss and 1 part vermiculite in a bucket. Add water slowly to moisten the media and it is evenly moist but not soggy.

Step 3) Fill about 3 1/2-inch pot with the medium, tamping it down gently. Then, add more soil so the medium’s surface is 1 inch below the top of the pot.

Step 4) Sow 3 seeds in the center of the pot, placing them on top of the medium.

Step 5) Place the pot in a room with a constant temperature of 15 to 18°C. Position the pot in direct sunlight, near a window that receives 8 hours of light per day.

Step 6) Check the soil carefully once or twice each day for moisture loss. Water the pot to a depth of about 1/2 inch when the surface of the soil becomes dry.

Step 7) Check the pot 2 to 3 weeks after sowing for signs of germination. Then, water the seedling when the top 1 inch of soil becomes dry. Test the soil’s moisture content by pushing a finger down into it near the edge of the pot. Then, apply the water directly to the pot in the morning.

Step 8) Fertilize the seedling every 10 to 14 days with about 10-10-10 nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium water-soluble fertilizer. Mix about 1/2 teaspoon fertilizer with 1-gallon water. Apply the fertilizer in place of watering.

Step 9) Transplant the Gaillardia start outdoors after the last frost date, once soil temperatures reach 18°C. Choose a location in full sun that contains fertile and fast-draining soil.

Tips for Planting Blanket Flowers

Tips for Planting Blanket Flowers
Tips for Planting Blanket Flowers (Pic Source: Pixabay)
  • First, choose a location in full sun with poor but well-drained soil.
  • There are mainly two ways to start Blanket flower plants i.e.; from seed or container plants you have purchased.
  • Container Gaillardia plants take well to being transplanted; simply ease them out of their containers and set them in a hole around 10% larger than the root ball. Then, fill the hole and tuck the plant in, finishing up by watering it to help the plant settle and give it a good drink to get it going.
  • Growing Blanket flower from seed is just as easy and is very rewarding because Blanket flowers will bloom in their first year. Whether you sow Blanket flower seeds indoors or outdoors, the process is the same.
  • The germination process will take just a few weeks. The only disadvantage to growing Blanket flower from seed is that the plants will not always be true to their parent’s plant. If you have a favorite variety of Blanket flower plants that you would like to ensure the survival of, propagate it through division every 2 years.

Growing Blanket Flowers in Pots

Step 1) To begin growing Blanket flower plants, gardeners will need to decide whether they will purchase transplants or start their plants from seed.

Step 2) Depending on the plant variety, Blanket flower plants started from seed may not bloom the first growing season. When planting a Blanket flower in a pot, it will be important to select a container that is of adequate size.

Step 3) GrowingBlanket flowers in containers will need a well-draining potting mix. Once the plants have become established, potted Blanket flowers will require some care. Blanket flowers are quite tolerant to periods of drought between watering. However, the need for water in a container depending on weather conditions, thus additional watering is generally required for container Blanket flowers. For best results, avoid fertilization of plants, as this may cause a decrease in flower blooms.

Step 4) Healthy Blanket flowers will continue to bloom regardless of deadheading. Even so, many choose to keep the containers looking neat and well maintained. These short-lived perennial plants will also need to be divided and repotted every 2 to 3 years to ensure longevity and many years of beautiful blooms.

Step 5) Blanket flower starts readily from seed and then produces larger and larger patches of the flower over the seasons just from seed. The Blanket flower plant prefers excellent drainage and hot sunny locations in the garden. It will die back as temperatures drop in the fall season and that is when some Blanket flower winter care comes into play. Once flowering is diminished and cool temperatures threaten, it is time for a little Blanket flower plant winter care. You can prepare the plant for better spring growth and appearance.

Step 6) Mulching is a common method of protecting perennials in the winter season. Though, the danger in mulching Blanket flower is that too much moisture may become trapped under the material. This can cause the plant to rot out. Blanket flower plant is drought tolerant but cannot stand soggy or boggy soils.

Step 7) Blanket flower plants are fairly maintenance-free plants. Water the bed once or twice per week during dry conditions and apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring when new plant growth appears. If your flowers look straggly and unkempt in midsummer, shear them down. They will come back with a more compact form and produce more flowers. In general, Gaillardias bloom from midsummer to fall season.

Watering and Fertilizer Requirements for Growing Blanket Flowers in Pots

Blanket flower plant doesn’t need much water just water them when the soil starts to turn dry. Well-draining soil is important for them Blanket flower don’t like wet soil. Before planting seeds, add organic manure of good quality to soil with a ratio of about 2: 1. Organic manure can be well-manipulated dung manure, farm manure, or vermicomposting.

Low-maintenance gardeners will love this plant as it truly needs little in the way of care. It grows best without any fertilizer at all, and, fertilizing the plant can be detrimental to its growth. If you fertilize the Blanket flower plant, even just once, you can expect it to grow leggy and then fall over. Blanket flowers perform best in poor soil conditions and the only exception to this is heavy clay soil, which won’t offer the draining capacity that plants need.

Companion Plants for Growing Blanket Flowers In Pots (Gaillardia)

Generally, companion plants for Gaillardia include Shasta Daisies, Echinacea, Garden Phlox, and Black-Eyed Susans. Taller plants that love the sun, such as foxgloves and hollyhocks will look nice growing near Blanket flower plants. Ornamental grasses that love are sun lovers look great with Blanket flowers.

Common Pests and Diseases Problems in Growing Blanket Flowers in Pots

Blanket flower plants are normally problem-free plants, but sometimes they are susceptible to aster yellows, a virus-like disease that can stunt their growth and cause the flowers to be green. Plants that do get aster yellows must be destroyed. They will not recover and the disease can continue to spread in plants. Though, aster yellows are spread by leaf-hoppers and aphids, so the best thing to do is to encourage predators like ladybugs. And, you will have enough natural predators around to keep them in check. Otherwise, spray the plant with insecticidal soap which helps ward off the pests.

Blanket flower plants attract both butterflies and birds, such as finches. Space the Blanket flower plants 12 to 18 inches apart. Blanket flower plant suffers few disease pests when given proper growing conditions. In wet, heavy soils, though, the Blanket flower plants might develop root rot diseases. Powdery mildew strikes in late summer but rarely causes any serious damage. To minimize some problems, space Blanket flower plants so air circulates freely. Use raised beds or amends heavy and clay soils. As the plant age, you might notice the middle of the clump dying. Then, pull out this portion and replant the outer clumps to regenerate the plant. Avoid mulching or overwatering Blanket flowers.

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Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Blanket Flowers in Pots

Does Gaillardia need full sun?

Blanket flower plants need at least 6 hours of sun daily and are sensitive to rich soils or fertilization.

Can you propagate the Blanket flower plant?

It is possible to propagate a Blanket flower plant by division in spring or root cuttings in winter.

How long does it take for the Blanket flower plant to bloom?

Blanket flower plant will bloom the second year from seed so if you just sowed this year it will not bloom until next year.

Can I grow Gaillardia in a container?

Yes, the Gaillardia plant is fine for containers. Make sure you have excellent drainage in the bottoms of the containers and use a commercial potting mix.

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