Gaillardia, a plant with flowers that look like an Indian carpet in your garden
Gaillardia is an impressive flower with characteristic green-gray foliage and beautiful flowers reminiscent of daisies in shades of red, yellow and orange. Gailardia is characterized by rich and prolonged flowering that lasts from early summer to mid-autumn. It originates from America and belongs to the same family as the sunflower with several varieties, some annual and other perennials and a height ranging between 30-90 cm.
Gailardia is an ideal choice for planting in a flower bed, in a rock garden, as well as in a pot on the balcony. The gailardia plant gives a feeling of wildflower in our garden and at the same time is one of the plants that attract butterflies and birds.
1. Under what conditions does the gaillardia grow and bloom?
Gaillardia needs sunny places to give us its impressive flowering. It needs light and sandy soil with good drainage, as young gaillardia plants are sensitive to excessive moisture.
To plant it in a pot on the balcony, we prefer places with southern exposure and relatively sheltered, as it is sensitive to low temperatures and strong north winds. In any case, we put a layer of gravel at the base of the pot to remove the water and not to close the holes of the pot due to soil compaction.
2. How often does the gaillardia need watering and fertilizing?
Gailardia is considered a very hardy plant and has low requirements for watering and fertilizing. Specifically, we water the gailardia once a week during the spring and autumn period and twice a week during the warm period of summer. Avoid excessive watering which can cause rot on the root and damage the plant. We also avoid excessive fertilization which can lead to reduced flowering and flowers with reduced lifespan. To stimulate the plant, in the spring, we put a small amount of organic fertilizer with reduced nitrogen content.
3. When and how is the pruning of the gaillardia done?
The perennial varieties are good to prune in late autumn and this helps them cope better with the winter frost. We prune the gaillards at a height of about 15-20 cm to renew its vegetation and enhance the flowering of next year. In the annual varieties of gailardia, we remove the dried flowers in the summer to help prolong its flowering in the fall.
4. What diseases and which insects affect gaillardia?
Gaillardia is quite a hardy plant and is not easily infected by insects and diseases. To deal with the meligra insect that can cause problems, we spray with ecological preparation of summer pulp that we supply from agricultural stores. Alternatively, we can proactively use an improvised solution made by dissolving 1 tablespoon of grated green soap in a liter of water. In a high humidity environment, gaillardia can be affected by fungal diseases such as mildew and therefore we can spray its foliage with baking soda solution or wetting (water soluble) sulfur.
5. How is gaillardia multiplied?
We can create new gail plants in 3 ways using seeds, cuttings or by dividing rhizomes. The annual varieties of gaillard are propagated mainly by seed that is planted at the end of winter and germinates after 3-4 weeks to give us new rooted plants in late spring.
Perennial varieties can be propagated by cuttings. During the propagation with cuttings, in the spring we take parts of shoots 10-15 cm long, we plant them in nursery pots and we place them in a cool environment until they take root. We can create new gailardia plants by separating the roots of the plant in the middle using a sharp knife and planting them in pots, as its rhizomes have significant germination capacity.
And a secret for the gaillardia
Gaillardia is also referred to as a “carpet” or “Indian carpet” flower because of its flower designs that are reminiscent of designs from traditional Native American carpets.