Attract birds to your yard with the long stems of delicate blossoms of guara. Use it as a specimen plant to add drama among small grasses and larger perennials or create a guara bed for a showy display.
Its shades of white and pink blossoms lend subtle color. Small, narrow leaves seem to fade to the background and often form clumps low to the ground. Though most often green, the foliage also comes in soft burgundy, especially in the dark pink flowering varieties. Many of the new dwarf varieties make exceptional container plants.
Gaura Care Must-Knows
A long taproot means these plants are well-adapted to drought and can stand up to some pretty tough growing conditions. The one thing that absolutely must be avoided is wet soil, because it tends to cause rot in plants with taproots. During winter, gaura does best on the dry side and will not overwinter if kept too wet. Because of this, gaura is best planted in well-drained soil. An anomaly of the plant world, gaura not only tolerates poor growing conditions but actually grows better for it. In rich soil, the plants tend to grow leggy and develop lush foliage that tends to flop over. This can be mitigated by planting seedlings close to other plants for support.
Another way to help prevent these naturally tall plants from flopping is by planting them in full sun. This ensures the sturdiest plants possible and promotes the most prolific flowering. Full sun also helps prevent any potential foliar diseases that may, on the rare occasion, bother gaura. These plants are extremely heat- and humidity-tolerant and withstand the toughest summer conditions while still putting on quite a show.
After their initial wave of blooms finish in early- to midsummer, it is a good idea to give these plants a quick shearing. This keeps plants looking neat and ushers in the next round of lush flowers. In some types this helps prevent potentially vigorous reseeding (a problem in ideal growing conditions).
Because of guara's tough nature, ability to stand up to harsh summer conditions, and profuse flowers, it has become quite popular. More work has been done to shrink these plants to accommodate containers, which has the benefit of making them workable. (Their loose, willowy shape can be overwhelming without the proper setting.)
More Varieties of Gaura
Plant Gaura With
Phlox are one of those bounteous summer flowers any large sunny flowerbed or border shouldn't be without. There are several different kinds of phlox. Garden and meadow phlox produce large panicles of fragrant flowers in a wide assortment of colors. They also add height, heft, and charm to a border. Low-growing wild Sweet William, moss pinks, and creeping phlox are effective as ground covers, at the front of the border, and as rock and wild garden plants, especially in light shade. These native gems have been hybridized extensively especially to toughen the foliage against mildew problems; many recent selections are mildew-resistant. Phlox need amply moist soil for best overall health.
Perhaps the best-loved perennials, herbaceous peonies belong in almost every garden. Their sumptuous flowers -- single, semidouble, anemone centered or Japanese, and fully double -- in glorious shades of pinks and reds as well as white and yellow announce that spring has truly arrived. The handsome fingered foliage is usually dark green and remains good-looking all season long. Provide deep rich soil with plenty of humus to avoid dryness, and don't plant the crowns more than 2 inches beneath the surface. But these are hardly fussy plants. Where well suited to the climate, they can thrive on zero care.
There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage, but they all tend to share beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. Countless sages (including the herb used in cooking) are available to decorate ornamental gardens, and new selections appear annually. They are valued for their very long season of bloom, right up until frost. Not all not hardy in cold climates, but they are easy to grow as annuals. On square stems, clothed with often-aromatic leaves, sages carry dense or loose spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and red that mix well with other perennials in beds and borders. Provide full sun or very light shade, in well-drained average soil.