Gaura plants are popular landscaping plants due to their delicate flowers and hardy constituents. The taller varieties often begin to flop over when in flower, and this can be unsightly in the garden.
Your Gaura plant is flopping over or flat either because the growing conditions are not right and the stem is weak, or it doesn’t have enough support to hold up its blossoms. The plant needs to be pruned or given support to stay upright.
Read on to learn more about the Gaura plant, why it is lying flat, and what you can do about it. I’ll describe the right conditions you need to maintain and methods to support your Gaura to prevent it from flopping over, so read on!
Taking Care of Your Gaura Plant
The Gaura Plant is a flowering perennial native to the prairies and plains regions of the United States (source). There are several varieties of this popular plant, and their size can range from 15 inches (38.1 cm) to 4 feet (1.22 m) tall. A member of the Primrose family, its botanical name is Oenethera lindheimeri.
The Guara plant blooms delicate pink or white flowers that resemble butterflies. The flowers are popular with pollinators. It is famous for having a long blooming season, starting in early summer and putting out flowers into the Fall. The wiry stem has slender, soft leaves ranging from green to burgundy.
A hardy plant that can withstand triple-digit temperatures without wilting, many gardeners love to plant Gaura in their outdoor gardens.
The Gaura plant has a large taproot that plunges deep into the soil (source). This taproot helps the plant be drought resistant and endure harsh conditions.
The Ideal Growing Conditions for Gaura
The Gaura plant requires dry, well-draining soil and thrives in full sun.
If the soil is too rich or soggy, the plant will grow leggy, with weak stems, and flop under wind or rain stress. To prevent this from happening, it is important to provide your Gaura with the ideal growing conditions. This plant does best in USDA zones 5 to 9.
- Soil: Since this plant is native to the grasslands, it does well when those conditions are replicated. Poor, slightly rocky soil and crowded stands are preferred by this plant.
- Light: It should be in a full-sun location. Even partial shade will affect its ability to grow strongly and flower prolifically.
- Water: Your Gaura should be watered infrequently. When watering, be sure to soak the base of the plant and give it deep watering so the long root can absorb the water it needs. In the wintertime, the guara roots mustn’t get too boggy. If you live in an area with heavy rains in the wintertime, it may be wise to grow your Gaura in a container so you can bring it in during the winter months.
- Temperature & Climate: Gaura will thrive in hot, dry climates that do not have consistent rains throughout the wintertime. This plant can tolerate extreme humidity. Believe it or not, Gaura also tolerates extreme cold. Its native plains environment is hot, humid, and sunny in the summer and freezing cold with occasional winter snow.
- Nutrition: Do not fertilize your Gaura plant. It thrives in poor soil, and feeding the plant too much will compromise its ability to grow strong.
See also: Will Gaura Plants Grow in Clay Soil?
When Your Gaura Plant Needs Support
Apart from poor environmental conditions, your Gaura plant may be flopping over because it is one of the taller varieties that need support. Naturally, the plant would grow in a dense field along with grasses, smaller herbaceous plants, and many other gauras.
If your growing conditions seem right and the plant is still flopping over, consider providing support for your gaura.
The easiest way to support your Gaura is to stake the plant. You can do this with a single stake by tying the stems to a bamboo, metal, or wooden stick. You can also use a tomato cage or supportive net to keep your Gaura plant standing tall.
Another option is to grow sturdy companion plants around it. Strong, medium-sized flowering plants like Yarrow, Coneflower, or Liatris are good options (source). Native grasses and asters also make excellent companions for your Gaura.
The Best Companion Plants for Gaura
Any plant with a sturdy structure or thrives under dense growing conditions will help support your gaura plant. Here are a few of our favorite companion plants for the Gaura species.
- Coneflower. The thick stem and indestructible flowers of the coneflower (aka echinacea) makes this plant a great supportive friend of the Gaura. Coneflower is also medicinal and a pollinator.
- Catmint. This aromatic shrub is a member of the mint family. Its grey-green foliage complements the delicate flowers of the Gaura plant nicely.
- Phlox. Low-growing varieties of Phlox can add a pop of color at the base of your Gaura and provide support.
- Salvias. There are hundreds of varieties of Salvias, but all have colorful flowers, and many have highly fragrant leaves. You can easily find salvias at your local nursery.
Other Methods To Keep Your Gaura From Flopping Over
Many gardeners prune their gaura plant midseason to prevent it from flopping over. Do this after its first flush of blooms, around midsummer.
Cut the plant down to about 15 inches (38.1 cm). It will regrow and flower even more abundantly. You can also grow a smaller variety. Many horticulturalists have created Gaura varieties that are shrub-like and fit easily into containers.
There are over 20 species of Gaura plants. These are the most compact varieties.
- Ballerina White
- Passionate Rainbow
- Crimson Butterflies
- Belleza Dark Pink
- Belleza White Evolution
- Gaudi Red
Gaura plants are a dependable addition to your garden, especially in a hot, dry, humid climate. They are low-maintenance drought and deer-resistant plants with beautiful delicate blooms.
To help your Gaura plant not flop over, you can surround it with companion plants, stake it, prune it midsummer, or grow smaller varieties. Several companion plants help support the Gaura, adding a pop of color and attracting pollinators.
Whichever method you choose, you can look forward to your gorgeous Gauras standing tall and proud.