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Butterflies of its own.......white Gaura


By Janey

Butterflies of its own.......white Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri (Gaura))

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This is beautiful, are they bulbs?

13 Aug, 2009


I only heard of Gaura recently on this site and now I think they are one of my favourites. This white one is beautiful.

13 Aug, 2009


Its very pretty.....

13 Aug, 2009


how pretty is that janey! lovely

13 Aug, 2009


Lovely Janey .. have a variety called whirlygig but no signs of flowers yet..
Perennials PP and hardy as survived our hard winter here.

13 Aug, 2009


Thanks BB will look out for it!

13 Aug, 2009


Think I need to go to specksavers,,,,

13 Aug, 2009


LOL Janette ..had that trouble on another of Janeys pics so you not alone.

13 Aug, 2009 its a perennial.....I grew them from seed last year, they do need cutting down though, I left this one just to grow and its nearly 5ft tall, which means it has to be staked or else it flops all over...Lol! Aw Janette....I meant the white flowers..ha..ha! They are late flowering Bb aren't they....looking forward to seeing yours....:o)

14 Aug, 2009


Thats a lovely one....I have a couple and cuttings root very quickly:))

19 Aug, 2009


These root easily in rainwater. I have a plant from last year and I've taken cuttings. But I don't have this white one which is lovely. I didn't realise they grow so very tall ! Do you think that applies to all varieties of Gaura ?

20 Aug, 2009


I'm not sure TT......don't know why it grew and a beanstalk..Lol! I'll cut it right back when the flowers are over.
Shall I root you a cutting TT?

20 Aug, 2009


Yes, please, Janey. Thank you... :o) xxx

20 Aug, 2009


I bought a white one, it turned out to be pink lol, rather liked the white.

2 Sep, 2009


what a pretty plant! they look like the head of a giraffe in shape dont you think?, i will be looking for this plant next time im out and about :-) thanks for sharing.

4 Sep, 2009


They do Ellen.........they need a lot of pruning though and to be at the back of the border or they flop all over.....

4 Sep, 2009


This beautiful classic "must have" plant is being constantly misunderstood and a disappointment to growers so I had to step in and fight it's corner.

G. lindheimeri, the species plant is a fantastic thing with its upright paper white fluttering flowers that dance in the tiniest breeze. It looks magical with grasses with seed heads that do the same but will liven up any spot in the sun.

The trick with this one is POOR SOIL, Im not shouting just emphasising this, and I cant enough. The poorer the soil the sturdier and more delightful it is.

It's a wild flower that grows in well drained, stony, sandy type poor soil that contains little organic material or nitrogen. Its roots (thick large tap root) like to anchor in between the stony ground, it loves wind it thrives in wind. Though constant rain will leave it a bit hunched.

Problem is it also grows well in good moist soil, far too well and tends to just tower on up and then flop over and continue along the ground making a messy sprawl. Staking isn't worth it as it bunches together losing all its airy desirable dainty delightfulness.

So the only thing to do is to amend an area by removing the nice rich top layer or soil you've worked so hard creating, along with the compost, mulch, fertilisers and replace with sandy gravel pumice what ever you have that doesn't hold nutrients or moisture well and that doesn't break down. Then plant, you will adore forever.

Alternatively just plant it in an area that has poor soil.
BTW most wild grasses love this type of soil too and also tend to flop in rich soils.

You may also cut Gaura back. Best well before height becomes an issue for any reason, as it prefers not to be cut back into "hard wood", so in between each flower flush if you want a lower ground hugging plant with just tall flower stems. Kept like this with a dense leafy base they are also more likely to over winter successfully as icy winds are less of a problem. If you prune low in Autumn into bare mature stems it is unlikely to make it in this twiggy leafless state through winter at all.

Pruning on rich soils it still wont stand up, it will just be a mini flop all summer with hardly any flowers.

There are a number of cultivars of this but they honestly don't hold up to the species plant (G. lindheimeri) with it's mostly pale shell rose buds, large striking white fluttery flowers on hair thin upright stalks. This character is lost in most "new" ones, with top heavy dense flower stalks or too short or thick stems, tangled etc etc. The hybrids and cultivars are though good for colour as they come in variegated foliage and dark pink and pink flower variations. Having said that all of them perform much better on poor soils and are worth a try but for different effects from the classic Gaura.

20 Jan, 2013


Thank you Shadypines for all the info on them. I don't think I remember seeing this one last year. It was planted in a sheltered spot in front of a south facing wall. Not too good a soil, and not fed as I remember. I'm wondering if the hot spot didn't suit it, or if as most of last summer was cool and rainy, this was a problem. I think I may grow it again this year and put your advice to good you I think it has one of the prettiest flowers I've seen and back lit by the sun it's spectacular!

28 Jan, 2013

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