Gaura lindheimeri

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Umbrian

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Gaura lindheimeri
« on: October 08, 2014, 07:22:54 AM »
I love this plant both for the daintiness of its flowers and long flowering season. However I have found that older plants throw up very woody stems that grow very tall and become messy by the end of the summer. I have a large stand in one gravelled area that has been supplemented by self seeding and it looks spectacular  early in the season but less so as the summer goes on - probably the profusion of plants means that they are vying for position....however this year I cut down the early growth of those to the front of the stand and was rewarded with fresher shorter growth that is still flowering beautifully whilst the taller wands hover behind and above them.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2014, 11:36:59 AM »
In August, some of mine (one year from cuttings) were looking a bit tired and only thinly flowered. So I cut them back to form a crude dome perhaps 30cm across. All those are looking good now, though the new shoots didn't come entirely from where I expected - so there is still something of that dome persisting, which doesn't look great.

Of the ones I hadn't cut back since Nov13 (two years old), some are just bigger and bushier, and full of flower (ie. no harm done by not pruning); the others are dying back (all in the same area, including the one I posted about earlier, suspecting virus - http://www.mgsforum.org/smf/index.php?topic=1577.0).

I suppose I'll prune again in November, though the plants seem more firmly anchored now - so less of a worry in the winter storms.

I do not have any self-sowings yet, which is a bit of a shame as I have some steep grassy banks where the addition of Gaura would look very good.

Still love 'em.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Umbrian

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 08:40:46 AM »
It's a shame you do not get seedlings from your Gaura Mike because mine self seed prolifically and have made a huge stand some 3m x 2m and they look stunning when the long flowering wands wave in the breeze. They seem to like seeding into gravel but if yours are on a bank that would be difficult. Regarding wind rock that should not be a problem once the plants are established because they send down a long tap root. With our continued wet weather I have noticed mine have produced good strong leaves this autumn right at the base and I have cut a lot of them right down to encourage bigger plants next year. Perhaps a bit of tender loving care in the form of watering regularly in the first  year would pay dividends - once they are away they require none and continue forever in my experience although I have found the darker pink flowered variety weaker on the whole and subject to the kind of die back you described.
In some places I leave the summer's growth because the more mature stems turn a lovely red and give winter interest. I think it is a lovely plant and was disappointed to hear some rather scathing remarks about it recently  - obviously getting too popular /common for its own good in some people's eyes :)
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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Charithea

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2014, 02:49:04 PM »
Mike and Carole, I now know where I went wrong with the Gaura. All of them dried up because I was saving water. One was a few years old when it was replanted because it was unhappy but that died too. Next Spring I shall try again and I shall water them until they are ready for the Cyprus drought.
I garden in Cyprus, in a flat old farming field, alt. approx. 30 m asl.

Trevor Australis

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2014, 11:26:25 PM »
I find if left to their own devices Gaura will regenerate from self-sown seed. The advantage is that the plants are deep rooted and not inhibited by having been grown in potting mix. There is also a pleasing variety in the colour of both flowers and leaves, but stature doesn't seem to vary much. If I were not so lazy I'd select those with red leaves and deep pink flowers. Maybe someone else will?
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

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Fermi

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2014, 12:50:45 PM »
Trevor,
the selections of Gaura available here have improved a lot since the "original" colour break 'Siskiyou Pink" first hit our shores more than a decade ago.
This one was simply called "pink Gaura" and this year has one stem with bi-coloured flowers!
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

Umbrian

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2014, 07:41:17 AM »
I have a large area where my Gaura have naturalised Fermi and I too have noticed the odd plant with bi-coloured flowers - very pretty. I took a cutting and placed it in a pot and it rewarded me with bi- coloured flowers this year.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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Charithea

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 12:05:02 PM »
It is RAINING !! Third time that has happened down our way since Autumn has arrived. We paid an unplanned visit to a garden centre that normally grows most of their plants in Cyprus and there beckoning to me were some gauras that survived the drought. I could not resist the impulse to buy so we have 4 plants now. They will be planted in the front garden and I SHALL water them until ready to fight the draught. I am still hopeful that this year's gauras might have seeded so I shall no dig that area just yet. Here is hoping!
I garden in Cyprus, in a flat old farming field, alt. approx. 30 m asl.

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gertrude

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 06:37:05 PM »
My Gaura continues to flower even now,  (22 November) they were cut back about 6 weeks ago and now have more new stems flowering away.
Pete and Jan. Retired 18 years ago and moved to Le Marche, Italy for the peace and quiet of the countryside and more sunshine, where gardening became a challenge.  We now have a lovely garden with an eclectic selection of plants including many wild flowers of which we are found of.

Sandra

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2014, 09:50:47 AM »
In my experience pink Gaura respond well to cutting back and look better for it. White Gaura, on the other hand, are a bit more fussy and although cutting back in winter is not a problem, cutting back during the summer can make them sulk for quite a while. I've also found the pink forms seed readily and are easy to grow from cuttings whereas the white forms don't appear to seed and are much more difficult from cuttings. Maybe the white ones are sterile?
Sandra Panting
I garden in the Southern Peloponnese, Greece and will soon be creating a small garden in Northampton, England.  I'm co-head of the MGS Peloponnese group and a member of the RHS.

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gertrude

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2014, 10:19:35 AM »
I dont seem to have problems with any colour, they all seed furiously around our garden mainly in the wrong places !!!!  but ae easily dug out and moved, or given away as gifts or sold at MGS plant sales.
Pete and Jan. Retired 18 years ago and moved to Le Marche, Italy for the peace and quiet of the countryside and more sunshine, where gardening became a challenge.  We now have a lovely garden with an eclectic selection of plants including many wild flowers of which we are found of.

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Alisdair

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2014, 04:52:05 PM »
In my experience pink Gaura respond well to cutting back and look better for it. White Gaura, on the other hand, are a bit more fussy and although cutting back in winter is not a problem, cutting back during the summer can make them sulk for quite a while. I've also found the pink forms seed readily and are easy to grow from cuttings whereas the white forms don't appear to seed and are much more difficult from cuttings. Maybe the white ones are sterile?
Our white ones in Greece do seed around a bit, Sandra.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Sandra

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Re: Gaura lindheimeri
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2014, 07:04:16 PM »
Maybe I just need to be a bit more patient!
Sandra Panting
I garden in the Southern Peloponnese, Greece and will soon be creating a small garden in Northampton, England.  I'm co-head of the MGS Peloponnese group and a member of the RHS.