Blanket flowers are beautiful, bright-colored flowers that grow in the wild. They can be grown and cared for easily in your backyard or garden too. Blanket flowers are native to North America and grow in the wild from Canada all the way down to Mexico. The scientific name for the blanket flower is Gaillardia, and they are also commonly referred to as Indian blankets or just blankets. Some important things to know about Gaillardia, the blanket flower include:
The blanket flower grows best in sandy, well-drained soils. They are not particular about the pH of the soil but prefer it to be on the neutral side. Soil should also be allowed to dry out slightly between waterings.
Blanket flowers are native to warm, semi-arid climates and prefer days with full sun exposure and cool nights. If you live in a warmer climate where your blanket flowers are not getting enough cool nighttime temperatures, you may need to consider covering your blooms at night to protect them from the heat.
Blanket flowers can be planted fairly close together, as long as there is plenty of sunlight and proper spacing. They generally grow best in clumps of several plants, so it is important to make sure you have enough space for multiple plants.
The blanket flower needs to be watered regularly, but it is important not to over-water them or your plants may become stressed and possibly die from root rot. Soil should only be moistened (not drenched) when watering blanket flowers. To test for proper moisture levels, feel the soil with your fingers before watering.
Fertilize your blanket flowers every two to three weeks using a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application rates and frequency.
To encourage continued blooming, you should deadhead your blanket flowers regularly. This is simply the process of removing any spent flower heads as they begin to wilt and fade. Doing this will promote new growth, so you can enjoy even more of these beautiful flowers.
Pests and Diseases
Fortunately, blanket flowers are relatively resistant to both pests and diseases. However, they can occasionally be susceptible to aphids, earwigs, and whiteflies. If you notice any of these pests on your plants, you can remove them by hand or treat them with an appropriate insecticide. To prevent disease, it is important to make sure your plants have good air circulation.
Blanket flowers can be propagated either by seed or by cuttings. To propagate them from seed, simply sow the seeds in prepared soil and keep them moist until they germinate. You can also take cuttings from established plants and grow new blanket flower plants that way. Whether you grow blanket flowers from seed or cuttings, these beautiful flowers are sure to be a staple in your backyard garden for years to come.
Blanket flowers bloom throughout the summer into fall, with peak blooming generally occurring in late summer. They will continue to flower for a few weeks after you begin deadheading them. If your plants stop blooming, it may be time to start feeding and watering them more frequently.
Some good companion plants for blanket flowers include winter savory, oregano, and thyme. These herbs all thrive in similar climates as the blanket flower and can be planted alongside them in your garden or backyard.
In addition to being popular garden flowers, blanket flowers can also be used for a variety of other purposes. For instance, the seeds are edible and can be eaten raw or ground into flour for use in baking. The leaves and stems can also be cooked and eaten as greens. Blanket flowers can even be used medicinally.
Blanket flowers can be grown in containers, but they may need to be watered more frequently than plants that are grown in the ground. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and choose a pot that is large enough for your plant to spread out. You should also consider using a self-watering pot to make things easier.
Blanket flowers are fairly resilient and can even tolerate some frost. However, they will likely die back in colder climates and will need to be replanted each year. In warmer areas, you can leave your plants in the ground year-round, but you may want to add a thick layer of mulch to protect the roots. With proper care, your blanket flowers are sure to thrive for many years to come.
If you are looking for an easy-to-grow flower that will provide vibrant color to your garden all summer long, blanket flowers may be a perfect choice. Whether you grow them from seed or cuttings, these beautiful flowers are sure to be a welcome addition to your backyard landscape.