If you want to add stunning gaillardia or blanket flowers to your garden to make it more colorful, you can successfully grow it from seed. However, you need to sow gaillardia seeds at the right time of year to increase their chance of germination. So, can you sow gaillardia in the winter?
You can sow gaillardia in the winter only if your region experiences warm temperatures during the cold season. Whether you’re growing gaillardia seeds indoors or directly sowing them into the ground, they require warm soil temperatures to germinate.
In this article, I’ll explore the best season to sow gaillardia and how to grow these beautiful flowering plants indoors. I’ll also feature tips on how and when to transplant gaillardia seedlings to the garden so you don’t disrupt their growth.
When Is the Best Time To Sow Gaillardia?
If you’re growing gaillardia in pots or the ground, you need to ensure that you give the seeds enough light to germinate. This is why you should avoid planting them during the colder months if your region experiences very dark and cold weather conditions.
The best time to sow gaillardia seeds is in the spring or summer because they require temperatures of around 70°F (21.1°C) to germinate. If the soil is cold, the seeds will struggle or completely fail to grow.
Gaillardia seeds don’t like to be covered by soil as they want to receive a lot of light, which is another reason they are best planted in spring or summer. When the soil is warm, they won’t get damaged by the icy temperatures.
Make sure you plant the seeds in an area of the garden where they will receive full sun conditions.
Avoid planting the seeds in shady areas of the garden, as this can cause the seedlings’ stems to become leggy or thin, which will cause them to droop as the plants grow. Gaillardia requires lots of sun and warmth throughout its lifespan.
During the summer, you can directly sow the seeds into the ground once the danger of frost has passed. The great thing about this is that it’s easy to do, especially because the seeds don’t need to be covered with soil, so it’s great for gardening beginners.
Is It Possible To Sow Gaillardia in Winter?
Although it’s ideal to sow gaillardia during the warmer months if you live in a region that experiences mild winters, it is possible to plant them during fall or winter.
You can also plant your gaillardia seeds indoors if the temperatures outside are too low, such as in pots or containers. You should do this about a month before the last frost is expected in your region so that the gaillardia seeds will germinate within one and three weeks.
However, when starting seeds indoors, ensure your home gets enough light during the winter. The seeds need to receive bright light, and they require a warm soil temperature of approximately 70°F (21.1°C), both when they’re grown indoors and outdoors.
Therefore, regularly check the temperature in your region. When it is consistently higher than 50°F (10°C), you can transplant the gaillardia seeds into the garden.
How To Sow Gaillardia Seeds
To ensure your gaillardia seeds germinate properly, giving them enough light is not enough. You must also follow some essential tips to grow beautiful, thriving gaillardia plants.
- Start the seeds in a seed-starting mix. When planting them indoors, plant gaillardia seeds in a seed-starting mix that’s kept moist. You want to gently push them into the surface without fully covering them. I’d recommend Miracle-Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix (link to Amazon). It’s ideal for use in containers and is formulated to encourage fast root growth.
- Harvest the seeds from pods on the gaillardia plant. If you’re harvesting seeds from the gaillardia plant, you can collect them from their pods once they’ve become wilted. Dry off the seeds and sow them in the spring or summer.
- Apply organic matter to the soil. This can take the form of compost. Mix it into the top six inches (15.24 cm) of soil. Organic matter helps to boost the growth of the plants.
- Gaillardia seeds don’t need cold stratification. Although some seeds require cold stratification to help them become used to the colder temperatures, as this increases germination success, gaillardia seeds don’t require this before planting.
- Apply mulch to the soil. A mulch will keep the soil warm and maintain soil moisture. An organic mulch, such as one containing shredded leaves, will be suitable. Avoid getting the mulch on the stems of the plant, as this can encourage rot to develop, which can be fatal for the plants (source).
How To Transplant Gaillardia Seedlings
If you’ve planted your gaillardia seeds indoors, once they germinate and temperatures are warm enough, you can transplant them into the garden. After the seeds have successfully germinated, you don’t want to hamper their growth by making transplanting errors. So, here are the tips to follow to help you grow healthy plants.
- Plant the gaillardia seedlings in an area of the garden that gets lots of sun — they want at least eight hours of sunlight every day.
- Ensure that the soil in which you plant your gaillardia seeds is fast-draining.
- Make a hole in the soil that’s the same depth and double the width of the root ball of the gaillardia plant. This ensures that the seedlings will have enough space to grow.
- Ensure you’ve planted the gaillardia about 12 inches (30.48 cm) away from nearby plants.
- After putting the root ball into the soil, backfill the hole with the soil. Tamp it down gently.
- Water the plant thoroughly. This is important to do once you’ve planted the gaillardia. Water the plant daily until the flowers bloom. Once established, the plants must be watered once or twice a week.
Gaillardia plants can be sown successfully, but you must ensure you sow the seeds in spring or summer when the soil temperature is approximately 70°F (21.1°C). Ensure that the seeds get at least eight hours of sunlight every day so that they will germinate within one to three weeks.