Skip to main content
Blanket Sunflower

Q and A: I read your comments about Gaillardia in the January and February issue of Florida Gardening magazine. Are you talking about buying the actual plants and planting them or do you mean starting them from seeds? I have had a good bit of luck harvesting the seeds from dead or spent heads in the summer, refrigerating them and then sowing them in the winter for a spring and summer bloom.

From Mark, by email
Answer:

Gaillardia pluchella, simply known as gaillardia, is a very cold tolerant native plant. As such, it can be started from seeds, or planted as young seedlings in winter without concern for cold weather damage. In natural stands, it most begins to germinate in February and again in August. Plants from seeds germinated in February usually do not persist beyond May of the same year. By October, even late germinated or set plants are no longer aesthetically pleasing and are usually removed by the gardener at that time. The plant is highly drought tolerant and so salt tolerant it is seen growing on South Florida beaches. Go to Youtube, galliardia/blanket-flower, to see a video of myself wrapped in a gaillardia blanket.

Gaillardia pluchella Photograph by Stephen H Brown UF IFAS Lee County