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Gaura lindheimeri - Growing

Growing Gaura lindheimeri

As you might well guess G. lindheimeri is another species of fully hardy and extremely floriferous plants from the prairies and plains of the USA which make another superb summer flowering spectacle in the herbaceous border.

Gaura lindheimeri is a perennial which has a bushy habit and is clump forming. It has alternate spoon or lance shaped basal leaves on slender stems. From early summer to early autumn the slender stems produce loose panicles of long pinkish white buds which open at dawn into white flowers which fade to pink. The stems can become 4ft or so tall in this species (but rather smaller in other named varieties) and the clump may grow up to 3ft across.

All forms of G. lindheimeri need to be grown in fertile well drained soil in full sun. They will tolerate some degree of drought and partial shade but this reduces their flowering capacity overall. Taller growing varieties do definitely need plants supports to keep mature clumps upright. After strong wind and rain when they are full out they tend to flop over from the weight of the flowering stems. The supports need not be that tall or obtrusive but, if you grow them in the nursery as we do, the problem is soon obvious if the pots and plants are not individually caned.

Gaura are typical herbaceous perennials in that you can readily dig and divide clumps when dormant with a spade or sharp knife. Root cuttings will grow away readily in damp trays in the greenhouse. The seed are easy to grow but if you do grow several varieties of differently named G. lindheimeri you may get mixed colours in the seedlings. Seed can be sown in a cold frame from spring on into early summer for best results.

The colour range of G. lindheimeri varieties varies between white, pink and red. The selection to fit the colours in your own border is what counts.


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