Blanket flower, also known as Indian blanket and gaillardia (gay-lar'dee-a), is native to the North American plains. Hardy in zones 3 through 10, blanket flowers require well-drained soil and full sun. Blanket flowers are drought tolerant and prefer sandy soils. Their seeds are often included in native wildflower mixes and flower mixes designed to attract butterflies. Depending on the cultivar of the seed you purchase you may have an annual or a perennial. However, all blanket flower cultivars will happily reseed themselves so what is sold as an annual flower may turn into a perennial (with self-sowing) in your garden.
Plant blanket flower seeds in early spring after all threat of frost has passed. Gardeners in warmer areas (zones 8 through 10) can plant blanket flower seeds in early to mid fall.
Sow blanket flower seeds in a spot with well-drained soil that receives full sun. Blanket flowers will tolerate some light shade (less than 3 hours).
Work 2 to 3 inches of compost into the top 6 inches of soil at the planting site.
Rake the planting bed smooth.
Sprinkle the blanket flower seeds over the soil. Don't worry about spacing as you'll thin seedlings after germination.
Press the blanket flower seeds into the soil using the back of a stiff-tine rake.
Give your blanket flower seeds one half to 1 inch of water after planting. The seeds should germinate in 8 to 15 days depending on the cultivar. If you are planting in fall the seeds will germinate the following spring.
Things You Will Need
- Shovel or garden tiller
- Stiff tine rake
- Purchase plants of blanket flower hybrids like "Baby Cole" rather than seeds as hybrids do not come "true" (resemble their parents) from seeds.
- Blanket flowers started from seed will bloom the following year. If you want immediate blooms plant blanket flower plants along with seeds.
- Blanket flowers will not grow in heavy clay or poorly drained soils.
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