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How to Propagate the Blanket Flower

blanket flower image by Bradlee Mauer from

Yellow daisy-like petals with a red centers characterize the blanket flower (Gaillardia). These hardy perennials thrive in both North and South America and are cold hardy to USDA Zone 4. With more than a dozen species (including some annual varieties), this vibrant flower earns its name from typical Native America blankets of red and yellow. Perennial varieties thrive for years and should be lifted and propagated through root division every 3 to 5 years to keep plants healthy and produce new plantings.

Divide roots in early spring as soon as first new growth appears to reduce stress from transplanting.

Dig around the base of blanket flower with a spade or garden fork. Dig 6 to 8 inches from the base of the plant and to a depth of 8 to 10 inches.

Slide the blade of the spade or tines of the garden fork under the root ball. Lift the plant free from the soil.

Shake gently to remove excess soil and to reveal the roots.

Separate the roots with your hands. Gently pull the plant into several sections. An established blanket flower can typically be divided into three to five sections. Each section should contain two or three shoots of foliage.

Keep roots cool and damp until replanting. Place in a bucket with folded newspapers on top of the roots. Wet the newspaper and place in cool area out of direct sunlight until plants can be transplanted.

Replant in prepared soil in similar growing conditions as the original site. Dig a hole large enough for roots to spread out over the soil without bending or folding. Guide ends of roots downward and cover with soil. Firm down with your hands to secure the plant.

Water thoroughly to moisten soil to the root level and keep soil moist until the plant shows signs of renewed growth. Resume normal care.

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