Plant Care and Garden Guide: Gaillardia to Gypsophila

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Plant Care and Garden Guide: Gaillardia to Gypsophila

Plant Care and Garden Guide: From Gaillardia to Gypsophila

GAILLARDIA grandiflora - Blanketflower

PLANTING: Set plants 12 to 15 inches apart. Choose a full sun location where the soil is of a light to medium character. A rich but light, well-drained soil is essential; gaillardias are not likely to survive the winter in heavy clay soils.

MAINTENANCE: Do not overwater. Periodic deadheading will encourage a lush blooming season and also prevent the occurrence of seedlings which are not true to type. Divide as needed to prevent overcrowding, every 2 to 3 years; and do so in the spring. Zones 3-9.

GALIUM odoratum - Sweet Woodruff

PLANTING: Set out plants in spring or fall, spacing plants 10 inches apart. The soil should be moisture-retentive but well drained with plenty of organic matter added. Partial shade is ideal.

MAINTENANCE: Keep soil moist. A mulch applied early in the year while the plant is still dormant will help retain moisture throughout the growing season. Zones 4-8.

GARDENIA species - Everblooming Gardenia, Cape Jasmine

PLANTING: Set plants 4 to 5 feet apart. A sunny location is preferable, though in very hot areas light afternoon shade is beneficial. The soil should be fertile, well-drained and of an acid reaction.

MAINTENANCE: Plants should be kept well watered; we recommend a summer mulch to help conserve moisture. Prune to shape after blooming season. If signs of nutrient deficiency appear in the form of yellowing leaves, apply a chelated iron fertilizer. Zones 7 (with protection)-10.

GAULTHERIA procumbens - Creeping Wintergreen or Checkerberry

PLANTING: Set 1 to 2 feet apart, in partial shade, in moist, acid soil. We recommend a sandy, well-drained soil enriched with generous amounts of compost, leaf-mold or peat moss.

MAINTENANCE: Water regularly and deeply - Gaultheria needs moisture above all else, especially during periods of drought. A year-round organic mulch of compost or leaf mold is recommended to preserve moisture and help provide a cool root-run. Once established, plants resent transplanting. Zones 3 (cooler portions)-7.

GAURA lindheimeri

PLANTING: Pick a sunny, hot, dry location and set plants 6 to 8 inches apart. Good drainage is important.

MAINTENANCE: After the first flowering, cut plant back to 1 foot to facilitate later blooms. It self sows readily, helping to increase the size of the display, but does not become a problem with unwanted seedlings. Too rich a soil will induce the plant to produce weaker stems. Should not require dividing - to move, dig deeply and avoid damaging the long tap root. Zones 4-8.

GERANIUM - Cranesbill, Hardy Geranium

PLANTING: Set out plants 12 to 15 inches apart in a sunny situation and in virtually any light, well-drained soil. Once established, geraniums will tolerate periods of drought, but perform optimally in moisture-retentive soils; we recommend a summer mulch, especially during the spring flush of growth and where summers are quite warm. Some species will tolerate light or partial shade.

MAINTENANCE: Geraniums will take about two years to become fully established. Once they’ve done so, they’ll quickly grow and colonize. An annual top-dressing with a balanced fertilizer or compost is beneficial and will improve flower production. Divide as it becomes necessary. Zones 3-8.

GEUM species and cultivars

PLANTING: Set plants 12 inches apart in moist, rich, and well-drained soil. Plant in full morning sun or light shade. Coarse sand and humus can be used to lighten heavy, clay soils.

MAINTENANCE: Keep soil moist and apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring and once a month during the growing season. Provide a winter mulch particularly in northern areas. Divide every 2-3 years to prevent overcrowding. Zones 5-9.


PLANTING: Set plants in a sunny location, spacing appropriate to the ultimate height and spread of the species. Grasses are widely tolerant of soils. Many will thrive in wet soils, and are excellent planted by the water’s edge, but many will tolerate poor, dry soils.

MAINTENANCE: While grasses may require two to three seasons to become fully established, they are of the easiest, most trouble-free culture. They’ll withstand drought once established, and are virtually untouched by insects and diseases. The only pruning needed is to annually cut back to ground level in late winter or very very early spring to allow for enjoying the dried foliage in the winter landscape. We recommend a winter mulch. Once established, clumps may require dividing from time to time. To dry, cut before seed ripens, and hang upside-down in a dark place. Zones various.

GYPSOPHILA paniculata cultivars - Baby’s Breath

PLANTING: Set plants 24 inches apart in a sunny location where the soil is well drained and somewhat sandy.

MAINTENANCE: Once established, Gypsophila should not be moved. Zones 3-8.