About Biennial Gaura: Gaura comes from the same family as the evening primrose, and has the same characteristic blossoms that last for just one day, opening at evening for pollination by nocturnal insects. The genus name Gaura comes from the Greek word for “superb.” This native wildflower was first described and classified in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark publication Species Plantarum, which recorded the first official botanical plant names and began modern binomial nomenclature.
Biennial Gaura Germination: Direct sow in late fall, planting just below the surface. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days; sow seeds in a flat or individual peat pots, keeping the soil lightly moist and at a temperature of 70 degrees F until germination, which usually occurs within 2-4 weeks. When the weather has warmed and the seedlings are well established, transplant outdoors to 18-24" apart. This plant adapts well to areas with rocky or sandy soil.
Growing Biennial Gaura Seeds: Water seedlings occasionally and mature plants in prolonged drought, since this plant tolerates drought well. Keep weeds down, since too much competition can reduce the plant’s growth. When this plant is grown from seed, full bloom will not occur until its second year of growth. Deadheading is not necessary, though it may prolong the time of blooming. To produce more compact and bushy growth, prune back the developing stems. This plant will self-sow readily, and attracts butterflies.
Harvesting Biennial Gaura: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water.
Saving Biennial Gaura Seeds: After the flowers fade, small oblong seed pods will form along the flower stalk. They will ripen at different times, turning from green to brown and easily dropping from the stem. Check the plants often to avoid loss. Shake or strip the ripe seeds from the stalk as they ripen, coming back every few days until all the seeds have ripened. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Biennial Gaura Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Biennial Beeblossom Duration: Biennial Bloom Time: Summer-Fall Height: 72-84 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry USDA Zone: 4a-8b Seeds Per Oz: 2,700 Produces blade-like, smooth leaves and spikes of four-petaled white and pink flowers with projecting stamens.