About Gaura: This lovely wildflower originated in Lousiana and Texas, and continues blooming all summer through heat and drought. The species name “lindheimeri” honors a German botanist named Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879) who spent much of his life collecting botanical specimens from Texas for Harvard University. The species was officially described and catalogued for science in 1845 by botanists George Engelmann and Asa Gray, who spent many years researching plants at the gardens and herbarium of Harvard University.
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 Gaura Seeds: Water seedlings occasionally and mature plants in prolonged drought, since this plant tolerates heat and drought well. Keep weeds down, since too much competition can reduce the plant’s 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. Do not divide mature plants, since they have taproots that must not be disturbed. In cold climates, a layer of mulch may be necessary for protection from the low temperatures. Gaura grows well in containers, and makes a good border plant that attracts butterflies.
Harvesting 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 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 Gaura Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Lindheimer's Beeblossom, White Gaura, Butterfly Gaura, Butterfly Flower, Beeblossom Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer-Fall Height: 24-36 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Dry USDA Zone: 6a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 2,500 Produces a bushy plant with narrow, blade-shaped leaves and spikes of four-petaled flowers that mature from white to pink.