YELLOW Blanket Flower SEEDS, Perennial
Blanket Flowers are valuable in the summer border for their very long season of bloom. They form a low mound of light-green leaves, bearing upright stems of large daisy-type flowers.
Yellow Gaillardia is a native Colorado ecotype of the perennial Gaillardia, growing 12-24 inches tall. It grows in pinyon-juniper, ponderosa pine, aspen, lodge pole pine, and spruce-fir communities, usually below 8,500 feet elevation. Plants grow best in full sun with dry to moderate moisture, in well-drained, infertile soils.
Sowing: Direct sow in late spring, planting 1/4" below the surface of the soil and compacting it slightly. Keep the soil evenly moist and at a temperature of 70-75 degrees F until germination, which widely varies from 20-70 days. Since these plants do not transplant well, they should be planted in peat pots if started indoors.
Growing: Water the seedlings until they become established. Mature plants tolerate drought well, though watering in especially dry periods will improve the blooming. Excess moisture may result in root rot and other disease. Deadheading or cutting back the plant will also increase the blooms. This is a rather short-lived perennial that does not readily self-sow. This plant attracts butterflies and resists deer.
Harvesting: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water.
Seed Saving: After the petals of the flowers drop off, the center will begin to turn from green to brown. Cut the seed heads off when they have ripened but before they begin to shatter. Spread them out to dry in a protected location for 2-3 weeks. Crush the seed heads to separate the seed from the stems. Store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.