Gaillardia — also known as blanket flower — is one of my absolute favorite native plants. It’s so easy to grow, even my mother loved it. (My gardening instincts come from my father’s side of the family, which started farming in Florida in the early 1800s. She preferred cut flowers delivered to her that way!)
Sow gaillardia seeds in moist soil after your last expected frost — this weekend here! — and water in well. They’re not fussy about fertilizer or water. In fact, one set of growing directions said they preferred unamended soil. The only bad thing about them is they require deadheading for best blooms — but making us do that means we just collect more seeds to give away.
Gaillardia is native to Florida and considered a semi-perennial here, but grown as an annual north of USDA Zone 9. Flowers are nearly constant unless we have a freeze and attract bees and butterflies as long as they’re blooming. We’ve had a warm, wet winter, so volunteers already are popping up here in the middle of February. Further north, collect the seeds during summer and fall and then replant in the spring in a prepared bed.
Please two packages of seeds (total) per order. It’s time-consuming to collect, package and mail them, even though we really want more people growing food for themselves, caterpillars and butterflies (or write firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell us why you need more.