Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gaillardia 'Oranges and Lemons'

If there is one plant I intend to keep in my garden every year it would be a gaillardia and more specifically 'Oranges and Lemons'. 'Oranges and Lemons' gaillardia (blanket flower) is a prolific bloomer that gives a bright and sunny look to the perennial plantings from summer through fall (zones 5-9). Even after the blooms have faded the seed heads still provide for some fall and early winter interest. 




Last year I had a really nice gaillardia in the front garden but unfortunately it didn't make it. After analyzing the location I suspect that its demise was caused by a wet winter combined with a poor location. (It was planted on the northern side of our house.) No sun and too much moisture means dead plant. Good drainage is a must, after all it is very drought tolerant once established.

If you try to raise 'Oranges and Lemons' from seed you will find a surprise waiting for you. 'Oranges and Lemons' is a hybrid and will not come true from seed. Instead you will find a gaillardia of another color and size but don't let that discourage you from planting the seeds. Sometimes new variants from hybrids are worth keeping! The gaillardia that died self sowed in our front garden revealing this red colored version in its place. The bloom is fairly large and bears a resemblance to Gaillardia x grandiflora which is probably one of the cultivars used to breed 'Oranges and Lemons'. Perhaps I'll try to back cross my surprise gaillardia with my 'Oranges and Lemons' just to see what happens.

Right now I have two 'Oranges and Lemons' planted, one in the birdbath garden and another one alongside our deck. The one next to our deck is paired with a moonflower and caryopteris. Next to, underneath, and all around the gaillardia is some spearmint which we use in our iced tea.

Gaillardia can be propagated through stem cuttings fairly easily and is how more 'Oranges and Lemons' are made for cultivation. Unfortunately 'Oranges and Lemons' is a patented variety and propagation should not be done (without a license) but if you have a non-patented variety stem cuttings can easily make many more for you!

Here's how to propagate gaillardia:

  • Select a piece if the stem with one to two nodes
  • Treat with rooting hormone
  • Stick in moist rooting media
  • Keep moist for up to 3-4 weeks.
  • Pot up when rooted

Gaillardia is an easy grower that could find a place in every garden!



7 comments :

  1. I've tried to grow Gaillardia but to no avail. Maybe next Spring.

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  2. I think you are the propagation King! My gaillardia was eaten by voles... but I love them. (the gaillardia, not the voles!)
    this name always makes me think of the children's rhyme 'Oranges and Lemons, say the Bells of St. Clement's.' First remember it from Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.

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  3. Dear Dave .. I still haven't been able to find this one here with Kingston distributors .. BUT .. I love Amber Wheels ! Have you tried that one ? .. very rich colour tones with silvery foliage .. beautiful : )
    Joy

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  4. I love Gaillardia too, Dave. I used to have the reddish/orange variety but that didn't do well in the location I had it in. I haven't tried Oranges & Lemons...have to keep that in mind. It does add a nice touch to your garden! Kylee sent me some seeds from her garden which I will plant next spring.(I hope they'll survive my abuse!!)

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  5. Such cheery flowers and the colour so appropriate for this time of year. And it seems they're all just a little different. Love them!

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  6. So so pretty and will be planting some. I have one variety but that's enough and it won't be ready to divide for another year or two. So rewarding for you now isn't it? I mean you got a good handle on dividing and propagating.

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  7. Such pretty fall colors! These are such tough plants I'd enjoy a few here for sure.

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