Plants

Gaura lindheimeri

If there is a plant that produces a large number of flowers to the point that its petals almost completely hide the leaves, that is the Gaura lindheimeri. But do you know the best? That it is perennial! Which means that you can enjoy it for several years.

Although that’s not all. This magnificent plant is very, very interesting, not only because of its undeniable beauty, but also because of how adaptable and easy to care for it is.

Origin and characteristics

Image – Wikimedia/ Meneerke Bloem

Our protagonist is a perennial rhizomatous herbaceous plant whose scientific name is Oenothera lindheimeri (formerly Gaura lindheimeri ). It is popularly known as the Indian feather, pink gaura, or white gaura. It is native to southern Louisiana and Texas, and grows to a height of between 50 and 150 centimeters.

Its stems, highly branched, are densely grouped. The leaves are lanceolate, with a toothed margin, and are 1-9cm long by 1-13mm wide. The flowers are grouped in inflorescences 10-80cm long, 2-3cm in diameter and made up of four pinkish-white 10-15mm long petals. It blooms for a good part of the year, from spring to autumn.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you provide the following care:

Location

It is a plant that must be outdoors, either in full sun or in semi-shade.

Earth

As it can be both in a pot and in the garden, the soil will be different:

  • Pot: I recommend planting it in a mixture of 60% universal growing substrate with 40% perlite or other similar material ( arlite, akadama, pomex).
  • Garden: grows in fertile soils that have good drainage. In case the one you have is not like that, don’t worry: make a planting hole of about 50 x 50cm (better if it is larger), add a layer of about 5-10cm of perlite and then finish filling it with universal growing medium.

Irrigation

The frequency of watering will change throughout the year. During the summer it will be necessary to water often, since moisture is lost quickly; On the other hand, the rest of the year as the sun’s rays do not arrive as straight, the earth remains humid for longer. So with this in mind, how often do you have to water the Gaura lindheimeri ?

Well, generally with about 3 or 4 weekly waterings during the hottest time of the year and with 2 a week the rest you can have it well. But you must watch the weather, and if there is a forecast of rain and/ or frost, wait a few days to water. And by the way, if you can use rainwater or lime-free; If you can’t get it, fill a bucket with the one from the tap and let it sit overnight so that the heavy metals stay under the container.

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Guano powder.

From the beginning of spring to the end of summer, it must be paid with ecological fertilizers, such as guano or herbivorous animal manure. You can also use fertilizers of chemical origin, but I do not recommend them since they are harmful to the environment (and also for you if you use them badly, that is, without protective gloves and without following the instructions specified on the packaging).

Multiplication

The Gaura lindheimeri is multiplied by seeds in spring. The way to proceed is as follows:

  1. The first thing you have to do is prepare the seedbed. As such, a pot, milk container, glass of yogurt, peat tablets,… anything that has or can make holes will serve you. Fill it with universal growing medium mixed with a little perlite and water.
  2. Then, place the seeds on the surface, ensuring that they are a little separated from each other. It is important that they are not piled up, otherwise they will not germinate, or many will die shortly after birth.
  3. Then cover them with a thin layer of substrate and water again, this time with a sprayer/ atomizer.
  4. Finally, place the seedbed outside, in semi-shade.

If all goes well, they will germinate in 3-5 weeks.

Pruning

It is not necessary, but it is advisable to cut off withered flowers and dry leaves to avoid the appearance of insects and/ or microorganisms that cause pests. Use scissors previously disinfected with alcohol and don’t forget to clean them when you’re done pruning.

Planting or transplanting time

The ideal time to plant it in the garden is in spring, when the risk of frost has passed. If you have it in a pot, transplant it every two or three years so that it can continue to be as beautiful as ever.

Plagues and diseases

It is very resistant, but if the growing conditions are not suitable it will become vulnerable to attack by mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies and spider mites. All of them are controlled or eliminated with specific insecticides, or with a natural one such as diatomaceous earth (you can get it here ). The dose of the latter is 35g per liter of water.

Rusticity

It is a plant that resists well frosts down to -10ºC. In addition, it can be had in warm-temperate climates.

Image – Wikimedia/ JJ Harrison

What do you think of the Gaura lindheimeri ? Did you know her?

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