Dictionary of Flowers: Gaura Lindheimeri
Gaura Lindheimeri (Bee Blossom). Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Martin LaBar and Flickr
- Gaura Lindheimeri
- Common name: bee blossom, gaura, wand flower
- Family: Onagraceae
- Category: perennial in USDA zones 6-8
- Height: 16” to 36”
- Width: up to 36"
- Blooms: late spring to early fall
- Attracts: butterflies
- Growth habit: clump forming, airy. Used as thriller in container combinations
- Maintenance: easy
- Soil: average to fertile, slightly alkaline, well drained. Water regularly if grown in containers
- Garden uses: containers, mixed border, wildflower garden
- Diseases: disease resistant
- Pests: no pests
Low maintenance herbaceous perennial native to Louisiana and Texas.
Bee blossom's open, airy appearance gives this plant a delicate appearance. But in fact, it is easygoing and long lived.
Pink or white flowers shaped like butterflies appear on long, thin stems over a long period during the growing season.
The leaves are green, narrow and can have dark red spots.
Gaura needs to be planted near sturdier shaped perennials or annuals to keep it from leaning.
Not picky about soil, provided good drainage exists, gaura can handle average to fertile, somewhat alkaline soils.
Gaura forms a deep taproot, so once established, it doesn't need much water. Water well the during the first year to allow the root system to develop.
During summers with no rainfall, water occasionally. Gaura needs full sun and can handle heat and humidity.
Gaura prefers little fertilizing. Over fertilizing causes plants to become long and floppy. Apply a slow release fertilizer in early spring, or a top dressing of compost.
Since it is better not to disturb the taproot, gaura doesn't like dividing. To keep the plant tidy, cut it back after the first flush of bloom during midsummer. Water well and it will produce another round of flowers.
Removing spent flower stalks will prolong bloom. Gaura self seeds, so if seedlings aren't desired, make sure to deadhead.
Only Nature could get away with pinks that incredible. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Bryant Olsen and Flickr
Bee blossom is available for purchase as starter plants in nurseries in spring and summer.
Gaura is easy to grow from seed, and it might bloom the first year if seed is started in early spring indoors. Sow the seed in individual pots, barely covering it.
Kept at around 70F, gaura germinates in about two weeks. Keep moist. In about six weeks, harden off. Wait to plant gaura in the garden until the soil has warmed up.
Bee Blossom looks great in any setting. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Wendy Cutler and Flickr
Not normally bothered by pests or diseases. Improve clay soil with compost to improve drainage to avoid rot. Gaura is deer resistant.
- Gaura Lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies' - white flowers, short variety that grows up to 24 inches. Blooms a long time
- Gaura Lindheimeri 'Stratosphere' series - white or bright pink flowers, two feet tall
- Gaura Lindheimeri 'Karalee Petite Pink' - bright pink, two feet tall
- Gaura Lindheimeri 'Siskiyou Pink' - pink flowers, red tinged foliage. Up to three feet tall
- Gaura Lindheimeri 'Crimson Butterflies' - compact plant that reaches 24 inches. Pink flowers
- Gaura Lindheimeri 'Belleza' series - dwarf size, around one foot. Available in white, light and dark pink
White Gaura Lindheimeri. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Andrey Zharkihk and Flickr
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Perennials For Containers
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