Blanket Flower

The blanket flower looks great in a mixed perennial border or with ornamental grass.

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Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Botanical name: Gaillardia x grandiflora
Hardiness: USDA Zones (2)3 to 10

Resembling a sunburst, blanket flower is valued for its hot-hued blooms that rise on sprawling stems over coarse-looking, textured foliage. The three- to four-inch, daisy-like, bicolor blooms radiate red from the yellow-red cone to a ring of yellow on the tips of the petals. Some selections offer double blooms and dwarf habits. Blooms last from summer until frost. A tough, durable, low-maintenance that's native to the western U.S. Two to three feet tall and two feet wide.

How to use it: In masses (of at least three to five plants) or in containers. Use in a mixed perennial border, cottage garden or xeriscape. Cutflower. Combine with other hot-colored plants, like Canna 'Tropicanna' or Rudbeckia. Also looks great with ornamental grasses, such as Carex flagellifera 'Toffee Twist', for autumn.

Culture: Prefers a well-drained site. Tolerates dry, sandy coastal soils. Does not perform well in heavy clay soils and will not last in these conditions through winter. Plant in full sun. May be floppy and require staking. Divide plants every three to five years in spring for best performance. Benefits by deadheading to encourage rebloom throughout the season. Propagated through seed or division. Self sows. No serious insect or disease problems, but has some powdery mildew, leaf spot, aster yellow and leafhopper problems.

Special notes: This is a hybrid of the perennial G. aristata and the annual G. pulchella. In some areas, blanket flower may be a short-lived perennial and therefore is often treated as an annual. Drought tolerant. Heat tolerant. Attracts wildlife, including birds, bees, and butterflies. Deer resistant.

Selected cultivars

  • 'Goblin'. Compact plant that reaches 12 inches tall and about 15 inches wide. Has bicolor blooms with red centers and yellow edges. USDA Zones 2 to 9.

  • 'Golden Goblin'. Dwarf plant that has similar features of 'Goblin', except that this one has completely yellow flowers.

  • 'Fanfare'. Selected by British plantsman Richard Read. This one features unique tubular petals that shoot out from the central, red/yellow cone. Reaches 12 inches tall. USDA Zones 3 to 10.

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